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Fahim Dashti survived the 'Lion of Panjshir' assassination. Now, under Taliban fire, he is killed

There are reports that three top resistance commanders were killed by Taliban

panjshir-valley-resistance-ap Militiamen loyal to Ahmad Massoud, son of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, push a vehicle during a training exercise | AP

On September 9, 2001, two days before the terrorist attacks in America, veteran Tajik anti-Taliban commander from Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was fatally injured in a suicide bombing by Al Qaeda at his residence by two men posing as journalists, with an explosive reportedly concealed in a video camera. Along with Massoud in the room then was his close confidante Fahim Dashti, a journalist and a politician. Dashti survived the attack, as many others including Massoud did not.

Twenty years later, Dashti, now the spokesperson for the National Resistance Front helmed by Ahmad Shah's son Ahmad Massoud, has now been reported killed in the fierce Taliban offensive that has engulfed the Panjshir Valley where the militia opposed to the Taliban are holed in at. 

There are reports, though unconfirmed, that top resistance figures like General Abdul Wadud, nephew of Ahmad Shah Massoud, General Munib Amiri and Commander Gul Haider Khan were also killed in the onslaught. 

Dashti's death was confirmed by both politicians like Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, and media outlets like TOLO News. 

There is no hard confirmation on the pitched battle that is going on in Panjshir at the moment. Taliban have seized four of the area’s seven districts, including provincial capital Bazarak. "At present, only the town of Bazarak in the center of Panjshir remains, where the mujahideen have entered some areas," tweeted Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi. 

Panjshir Valley is the only region out of Taliban's hands, courtesy its geographic ruggedness, as also the fact that it is jealously guarded as the birthplace of one of Afghanistan's greatest sons. 

The anti-Taliban fighters are being led by former vice president Amrullah Saleh, who has appealed for humanitarian aid to help the thousands of people displaced by the fighting. Several Taliban delegations have attempted negotiations with the holdouts there, but talks have failed to gain traction. Saleh fled to Panjshir after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani quit Afghanistan as the Taliban marched on the capital. The fighters' lightning blitz across the country took less than a week to overrun some 3,00,000 government troops, most of whom surrendered or fled.


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