Anti-Taliban fighters set to defend Panjshir valley

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In a mountain valley north of Kabul, the last remnants of Afghanistan’s shattered security forces have vowed to resist the Taliban in a remote region that has defied conquerors before. But any attempt to re-enact that history could end in tragedy, or farce. Nestled in the towering Hindu Kush, the Panjshir Valley has a single narrow entrance and is the last region not under Taliban control following their takeover of Afghanistan. Mohammad Farid, the leader of a local militia told the Associated Press that he and his men are ready to fight them when they come. Local fighters held off the Soviets in the 1980s, and the Taliban a decade later under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud, a guerrilla fighter who attained near-mythic status before he was killed in a suicide bombing. His 32-year-old foreign-educated son, Ahmad Massoud, and several top officials from the ousted Western-backed government have gathered in the valley. They include Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who claims to be the caretaker leader after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

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