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REPORT: Afghan Rebels Kill 7 Taliban Fighters In Panjshir Valley Skirmish

AHMAD SAHEL ARMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Afghan rebels operating out of the Panjshir Valley in northern Afghanistan killed seven Taliban fighters on Sunday, two representatives of the group said.

“Last night, the Taliban attacked Panjshir, but were defeated with seven dead and several wounded,” former Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi said, according to a Twitter translation. Mohammadi joined the Ahmad Massoud-led National Resistance Front (NRF) after Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15. (RELATED: Taliban Assassinates Afghan Media Chief, Takes Provincial Capital)

NRF spokesman Fahim Dashti said that the Taliban attacked the western part of the Panjshir Valley, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Panjshir, from where the NRF operates, is the only Afghan province confirmed to be out of the control of the Taliban. Control of Parwan province is disputed, and the 32 other provinces are controlled by the Taliban, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal.

The NRF recognizes Amrullah Saleh, the first Vice President to former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as the legitimate president of Afghanistan under the country’s 2004 constitution. The French-educated Massoud called on the U.S. and other western countries to support his group in an Aug. 18 op-ed in The Washington Post. The NRF has also sent an envoy to Washington, D.C., to request support, the Daily Mail reported.

Troop movements and other intelligence are rarely definitive in more rural parts of Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover, FDD senior fellow Bill Roggio told the Daily Caller.

A land-locked province, “Panjshir does not have a gateway to the outside,” he said, making intelligence gathering all the more difficult.