Afghan rebel group jibes: Even Russia couldn’t beat us

Taliban and al-Qaeda could ‘join up’ warns security expert

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And the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan warned the militants that Russia had failed to conquer the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, in 1979. Group leader Ahmad Massoud, whose father was a renowned fighter nicknamed “the Lion of Panjshir”, appealed for world support to fight the Taliban if peace moves fail. Massoud claims to have armoured vehicles lining up on the banks of the Panjshir River, as well as five helicopters.

He added defiantly: “The people of Panjshir Valley are very much united and they want to defend, they want to fight, they want to resist against any totalitarian regime.

“Panjshir is the smallest province in Afghanistan. But what we are standing for right now is for the whole country.

“It’s for sovereignty, it’s for peace, it’s for people, it’s for inclusivity and tolerance.” His foreign relations head, said: “We prioritise peace and negotiations. If this fails…then we’re not going to accept any sort of aggression.

“The Red Army, with its might, was unable to defeat us. And the Taliban also 25 years ago…they tried to take over the valley and they faced a crushing defeat.”

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