Kabul (Afghanistan) | Jagran News Desk: In what might escalate the conflict once again, Taliban has said that hundreds of its fighters are heading towards the Panjshir Valley, which has become the centre of the resistance in the war-torn country ever since the militants captured Kabul.

"Hundreds of Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate are heading towards the state of Panjshir to control it, after local state officials refused to hand it over peacefully," Taliban wrote in Arabic on its official Twitter handle.

Since Taliban captured Kabul, the Panjshir Valley has emerged as a resistance stronghold in Afghanistan with several ex-government officials and others gathering there while refusing to surrender. The resistance forces are led by Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud.

Saleh, who was the first vice president in the Ashraf Ghani cabinet, has also declared himself as the 'caretaker' president and said that he won't surrender to the militants, adding that Afghanistan is "too big for them to rule".

"Nations must respect the rule of law, not violence. Afghanistan is too big for Pakistan to swallow and too big for Talibs to govern. Don’t let your histories have a chapter on humiliation and bowing to terror groups," Saleh had tweeted.

Earlier, the resistance forces had also captured three districts -- Pol-e-Hesar, Deh Salah and Banu -- in Baghlan province. Local media reports suggested that 60 Taliban fighters were also killed in the battle.

The resistance forces claim that they have assembled around 9,000 people to counter Taliban. According to a report by AFP, the forces are also training dozens of recruits and also have a handful of armoured humvees.

Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who was assassinated by Al-Qaeda two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks, has said that they want to push for a new system of government, but is prepared to fight if needed.

"Government forces came to Panjshir from several Afghan provinces," Massoud said, as reported by AFP. "The Taliban will not last long if it continues on this path. We are ready to defend Afghanistan and we warn of a bloodshed".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma