- Afghans have reportedly begun to fight back against the Taliban, retaking three districts on Friday from under its rule.
- The anti-Taliban groups say they killed dozens of Taliban fighters and captured 20 others in the assault.
- Throughout the swift takeover, Afghans have been openly defiant of the Taliban.
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Afghan fighters expelled the Taliban from three Afghanistan districts on Friday, according to reports from journalists and provinces in the country.
Friday's assault against the Taliban marks the first time this year that Afghans fought and successfully took back part of the country from the militant group, which took over the Afghanistan government over the course of just 10 days.
Ahead of President Joe Biden's initial August 31 deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban swept the country, culminating in a complete takeover by mid-August. Just days before the Taliban began its takeover, Biden said in a press briefing that "the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."
But as the Taliban encroached on the capital city of Kabul, the situation quickly evolved into a crisis. Photos and videos showed Afghans scrambling to leave the country and packing into cargo planes. Some footage showed Afghans clinging to and falling from a moving plane at the Kabul airport.
In its takeover, the Taliban declared the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, reverting back to the same name used in 1996 when the regime last took power.
Groups of Afghan fighters, however, are fighting back, according to Kabul-based independent network TOLO News. They drove out Taliban rulers in three northern districts in the Baghlan province of Afghanistan, just about 100 miles north of Kabul. The anti-Taliban groups say they killed dozens of Taliban fighters and captured about 20 others in the defeat.
-Tajuden Soroush (@TajudenSoroush) August 20, 2021
"Pul-e-Hesar district was taken back from the #Taliban and fighting is raging in Deh-e-Salah and Banu districts," a Twitter account that appears to be for the country's Panjshir Province posted on Friday. "Local sources say the Taliban have been attacked from several areas and suffered heavy casualties."
A London-based journalist said on Twitter that Afghan government officials told him "that local resistances forces in Baghlan province have recaptured Banu and Pol-e-Hesar districts from the Taliban."
An Afghan news agency posted a video on the ground featuring anti-Taliban fighters carrying rifles and hanging up the red, green, and black Afghan national flag.
-Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) August 20, 2021