Anti-Taliban Leader Massoud Wants To Talk But Ready To Fight

Anti-Taliban Leader Massoud Wants To Talk But Ready To Fight

Andrew H. Sweet

"We want to make the Taliban realize that the only way forward is through negotiation," he told Reuters by telephone from his stronghold in the Panjshir valley northwest of Kabul.

The comments came as a statement on the Taliban's Alemarah Twitter feed said hundreds of fighters were heading towards Panjshir "after local state officials refused to hand it over peacefully."

In the only confirmed fighting since the fall of Kabul on Sunday, anti-Taliban forces took back three districts in the northern province of Baghlan, bordering Panjshir last week.

Massoud called for an inclusive, broad-based government in Kabul representing all of Afghanistan's different ethnic groups and said a "totalitarian regime" should not be recognized.

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