At least 17 people were killed and more than 50 injured when Taliban members fired guns into the air to celebrate victory over the last holdout against the Islamist group’s takeover of Afghanistan.
The celebrations were not only deadly — but premature.
After rumors spread that Taliban fighters had seized control of Panjshir, a valley about 50 miles north of Kabul, gunshots rang out in the streets of the capital city. Local news agencies reported 17 people killed and 41 injured.
Another 14 were injured by celebrations in Nangarhar province east of the capital.
But the claims that the resistance had folded were not true.
The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan said Taliban forces reached the border of Panjshir but were pushed back. The well-armed resistance is made up of thousands of fighters from regional militias and the old government’s forces.
A resistance spokesman tweeted that the Taliban were “crushed by the forces of the National Resistance and fled.”
“They could not advance with all their might, and their casualties are high,” Front spokesman Fahim Dashti wrote in a tweet Saturday.
Official Taliban spokesmen have so far not publicly claimed to have taken the valley, which is walled off by mountains with only one narrow entrance.
The valley held out for a decade against the Soviet Union’s occupation in the 1980s and also the Taliban’s first rule from 1996-2001.
Former Afghan vice president Amrullah Saleh, one of the leaders of the opposition, said in a video shared with the BBC he is in the Panjshir Valley and his side has not given up.