Heavy fighting has been reported in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, the last of the province not yet under the Taliban’s control.
Reuters quoted Taliban officials saying that they had seized the area, but the resistance fighters they are battling denied this.
One of the resistance leaders, Amrullah Saleh, dismissed claims he had fled, but said the situation was “difficult”.
The fighting in Panjshir is reported to have left hundreds dead.
The valley, north of the capital Kabul, is one of Afghanistan’s smallest provinces.
The traditional anti-Taliban stronghold is home to somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 people, and is hidden behind mountain peaks.
The resistance includes former Afghan security force members and local militias is led by local tribal leader Ahmad Massoud. His father successfully fought the Soviets who invaded in the 1980s, and the Taliban in the 1990s.
Mr Saleh, a former vice-president of Afghanistan, said there had been casualties on both sides.
“There is no doubt we are in a difficult situation. We are under invasion by the Taliban,” he said.
But he added: “We will not surrender, we are standing for Afghanistan.”
He said he was sharing the video to assure people that reports suggesting that he had left the country were false.
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) September 3, 2021
When you want to come to Panjshir by force, bring your ⚰ with you as well. In last night fighting, 450 Taliban killed, 230 surrendered and 170 Taliban from Badakhshan joined the RESISTANCE.
I have limited access to internet. This could be my last tweet for couple of days.
— Sarfaraz (@Sarfaraz1201) September 3, 2021
Taliban officials have been claiming victory in the area, with one commander telling Reuters: “By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of the entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir is now under our command.”
The Taliban are now in control of the rest of the country, and are expected to announce a new government in the coming days.
The European Union and UK on Friday joined the US in saying they will deal with the Islamist group, but won’t recognise them as Afghanistan’s government.
The EU also said it was planning to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Kabul to oversee evacuations and ensure that a new Afghan government fulfils commitments on issues including security and human rights.
But its foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said any engagement would be subject to strict conditions and would only be to support the Afghan people.