Earlier, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi wrote on Twitter that the Taliban had taken control of four Panjshir districts, namely Khinj, Unabah, Shotul and Paryan.

On Friday, citing a Taliban source Reuters reported that the radicals claimed they had taken full control of the insurgent province. Meanwhile, a TASS source in the region said that the national resistance forces refuted these reports.

The Taliban, outlawed in Russia, mounted a massive operation to regain control over Afghanistan after the United States announced the withdrawal of its military personnel from the country.

On 15 August, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country, and the Taliban forces swept into Kabul, meeting no resistance.

The forces opposing the Taliban rule offered resistance in Panjshir province, which was headed by Ahmad Massoud, the son of the famed guerilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001). Former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who declared himself “caretaker president,” urged the country to support it.

On 14 February, 2003, Russia’s Supreme Court handed down a ruling declaring the Taliban to be a terrorist organisation.