Taliban forces in Afghanistan have been battling to capture the only province not under their control – Panjshir.
Elements of the Afghan army and fighters loyal to former vice president Amrullah Saleh have assembled in the Panjshir valley, which is surrounded by mountains, making it difficult to capture. Despite this, a Taliban spokesperson has claimed that the area has fallen, though this has not been independently confirmed.
A small group of women have protested in Kabul, demanding equal rights under Taliban rule. It was the second women’s protest in as many days. The Taliban have promised to respect women’s rights – but within their interpretation of Islamic Law.
European Union officials have been meeting in Slovenia to discuss how to best deal with the Taliban.
Foreign ministers from the 27 member states have announced their conditions for an engagement with the incoming government in Afghanistan. EU authorities evacuated Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last month, but have signaled a will to reestablish relations if the new rulers meet certain criteria.
The conditions include the Taliban respecting human rights and cracking down on terror groups which want to use the country as a base. Germany’s foreign minister – Heiko Maas – says the EU will only start sending aid again if the Taliban make good on their promises.
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