The militant group said they have achieved their aim “after taking Panjshir province”. The Taliban swept through Afghanistan on the run up to the US withdrawal. They took power in Kabul on 15 August after US-backed President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the area had been “completely conquered”.
He added that a “number of people” were killed, while the “rest fled”.
However, the opposition group, National Resistance Front (NRF), said the “Taliban’s claim of occupying Panjshir is false”.
The NRF added: “The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight.
“We assure the people of Afghanistan that the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue until justice and freedom prevails.”
The head of foreign relations at the NRF described the group’s leader, Ahmad Massoud, as being “safe and will be giving a message soon”.
Eyewitness accounts claim that Taliban fighters have overrun eight districts in the province overnight.
Panjshir has been the last Afghan province to hold out against the Taliban.
The deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said it had “taken control of the most important areas in Panjshir”.
The Taliban official then added that the operations were conducted in a “manner that local people are not harmed”.
He added: “We are performing operations in a tactical manner to force the resistance movement to vacate the area. As per our information, Panjshir will come under Islamic Emirate very soon.
“The resistance movement is trying to provide hope to the very few people and encourage them to fight through such claims against us, aiming for their financial gains and to hold on to their power.
“But I don’t think they would be able to fulfil their desires. As Panjshir is a province of Afghanistan, it should also come under the regime.”
More to follow…