The Latest: Taliban take control of last holdout province
The Taliban say they have taken control of Panjshir province north of Kabul, the Afghan capital.
The province was the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country and the only province the Taliban had not seized during their sweep of Afghanistan last month.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement Monday, saying Panjshir was now under control of Taliban fighters.
Thousands of Taliban fighters overran eight districts of Panjshir overnight, according to witnesses from the area. The anti-Taliban fighters had been led by the former vice president and the son of the iconic anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed by a suicide bomber just days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
MORE ON AFGHANISTAN:
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— Rescue groups: US tally misses hundreds left in Afghanistan
— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee says some Americans who have been trying to get out of Afghanistan since the U.S. military left are sitting in airplanes at an airport ready to leave but the Taliban are not letting them take off.
Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas says there are six airplanes at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport with American citizens on board, along with their Afghan interpreters, and the Taliban are “holding them hostage” right now.
A worker at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport confirmed several aircraft he believes were chartered by the U.S. are parked at the airport. Taliban have prevented them from leaving, saying they wanted to check the documents of those on board, many of whom do not have passports or visas. The airport official did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject.
McCaul, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” says the Taliban have made demands. He gave no specifics but said he’s worried “They’re going to demand more and more, whether it be cash or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan.”
He said the aircraft have been at the airport for “the last couple days.”