Taliban claim to complete Afghan takeover

The Taliban say they have completed their takeover of Afghanistan, capturing the last holdout of opposition forces in the Panjshir Valley.

Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in Kabul on Monday that the northeastern province of Panjshir was now under the Taliban's control.

Mujahid urged the opposition forces to agree to stop fighting, but he didn't say whether they have agreed.

The Taliban captured Kabul on August 15 and ousted the government of President Ashraf Ghani, putting almost all parts of the country under its control.

Fighting had continued in the Panjshir Valley with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, led by Ahmad Massoud, son of the late leader of the former Northern Alliance.

The Taliban have yet to announce a new government.

Mujahid denied that disagreements within the Taliban are delaying an announcement, and added there may be an interim government to leave room for improvement for unresolved issues.

He stressed that the Taliban will try to establish a government soon for peace and stability in the country.

The Panjshir Valley was the base of the Northern Alliance, which opposed the Taliban in the latter half of the 1990s.

The alliance staged fierce resistance under its charismatic leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, and the Taliban never took control of the area.

Massoud was assassinated just before the September 11 terror attacks in the United States in 2001.

But the alliance captured Kabul with the help of the US military, ousting the Taliban government.

Alliance members maintained strong political influence and rejected the Taliban's participation in the government.

After the Taliban seized power in August, the forces led by Massoud's son engaged in fierce fighting against the group.