Anti-Taliban Resistance Recaptures Multiple Areas as Afghans Fight Back

Resistance fighters in Afghanistan have recaptured three areas in the country's Baghlan province from the Taliban, according to reports on Friday, as locals fight back against the recent takeover.

Anti-Taliban forces reportedly took back control of the Banu, Pol-e-Hesar and De Salah districts in Baghlan province, while around 60 Taliban fighters were killed or injured in the fighting.

The Taliban advanced rapidly throughout the country ahead of the August 31 deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal. Chaotic scenes at Kabul airport following the Taliban's entry into the city prompted significant criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the situation.

However, local forces on the ground appear to mounting a fightback against the Taliban.

Photos and videos have been circulating on social media on Friday along with reports about the apparent clashes between the Taliban and local resistance.

A Twitter account named for the country's Panjshir Province—itself a hotbed of resistance to the Taliban—shared a report about events in neighboring Baghlan province on Friday in both Persian and English.

"Pul-e-Hesar district was taken back from the #Taliban and fighting is raging in Deh-e-Salah and Banu districts," the account posted at 8.40am ET.

"Local sources say the Taliban have been attacked from several areas and suffered heavy casualties," they said.

Banu and Deh-e-Salah districts were also taken back from the Taliban, according to various reports, including an article on the situation from Indian TV news channel Republic World.

Tajuden Soroush, senior correspondent for Iran International, a Persian TV station based in London, U.K., also tweeted about the events in Baghlan province on Friday, citing former Afghan government officials.

BREAKING:
An ex, Afgh government officials tell me that local resistances forces in Baghlan province have recaptured Banu and Pol-e-Hesar districts from the Taliban. They are advancing towards the Deh Salah district. About 60 Taliban fighters were killed or injured. pic.twitter.com/OX8CBUTcSO

— Tajuden Soroush (@TajudenSoroush) August 20, 2021

"An ex, Afghan government officials tell me that local resistances forces in Baghlan province have recaptured Banu and Pol-e-Hesar districts from the Taliban. They are advancing towards the Deh Salah district. About 60 Taliban fighters were killed or injured," Soroush tweeted at 8.53am ET.

He later added: "De Salah district also fell to the local resistance forces."

There was some confusion on social media about exactly what areas had been captured and whether fighting was still taking place, however. Conflicting reports suggested Banu and Deh-e-Salah had not yet been captured at the time of writing, while the situation on the ground appears fluid.

Reports also suggested the Baghlan's Andarab district was an impending target of the anti-Taliban resistance fighters, with some reports claiming Andarab had already been recaptured.

However, reports agreed that Pul-e-Hesar had been recaptured and there has been heavy fighting in Deh-e-Salah and Banu.

The Taliban captured the capital and largest city of Baghlan province, Pul-e-Khumri, on August 10 as part of its rapid takeover of territory throughout the country.

Afghans Opposed to the Taliban in Panjshir
Afghan armed men supporting the Afghan security forces against the Taliban stand with their weapons and Humvee vehicles at Parakh area in Bazarak, Panjshir province on August 19, 2021. Reports on Friday suggested that three districts of neighboring Baghlan province had been recaptured from the Taliban. AHMAD SAHEL ARMAN/AFP via Getty Images)/Getty Images