17 dead, 41 hurt in celebratory gunfire in Afghanistan


At least 17 people were killed and 41 others injured by celebratory
gunfire in different parts of Afghanistan’s capital after untrue
reports emerged that the Taliban captured the northeastern Panjshir

For two hours on Friday evening, the Taliban shot thousands of rounds
of tracer bullets across the night sky in Kabul, fueling speculation
that they had taken the valley, which was the last region not yet
seized by the insurgents in their recent lighting advances across the

These reports turned out to be false, however, as no Taliban commander
went on record confirming them.

According to a source from a local hospital, at least 17 people were
killed in the indiscriminate fire, with 41 others injured and taken to
receive medical care.

The Taliban denied media access to the hospital that received them.

However, a senior Taliban leader, Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob Omari,
issued an audio message warning Taliban members of severe consequences
for such behavior.

“I warn all commanders and Mujahideen (Taliban members) in Kabul city
and province that if anyone resorts to aerial firing in the city, I
will take strict action against them,” he said, adding that violators
would be expelled from the city.

The Panjshir resistance group, led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of late
mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, and Bismillah Mohammadi, the
Ghani government’s defense minister, are fighting the Taliban in the

If the Taliban seize Panjshir, it will be the first time they will
form a government across Afghanistan.

They were unable to govern northern Afghan provinces including Faryab,
Sar-e Pul, Jawzjan, Balkh, Samangan, and Kunduz during their first
government from 1996 to 2001.

The Taliban have taken over most of the 33 provincial capitals without
bloodshed, but deadly confrontations have continued in Panjshir since
the US left Afghanistan on Aug. 31, the only province still fighting

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