At least 17 killed and 41 hurt by 'celebratory gunfire' as Taliban 'seizes last province'

The shooting came after sources said the hard-line group had taken control of Panjshir, the last province in Afghanistan to fight back against the country’s new rulers – opposition officials have denied claims

Celebrations have broken out across Afghanistan since the US forces withdrew (

Image: STRINGER / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

At least 17 people were reportedly killed in ceremonial shooting by the Taliban in Kabul on Friday.

The Shamshad news agency said 17 people were killed and 41 injured in “aerial photographs” of the Afghan capital.

The Tolo news agency took a similar toll.

It comes when the Taliban claim they have captured the last remaining region in Afghanistan that stood against the group.

The shooting was reprimanded by the Taliban’s main spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

“Avoid shooting in the air and thank God instead,” said Mujahid in a message on Twitter.

“Bullets can harm civilians, so don’t shoot unnecessarily.”

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Taliban troops keep vigil while people celebrate (file)
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Image:

STRINGER / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

At least 14 people were injured in Nangarhar province east of Kabul, said Gulzada Sangar, spokeswoman for a regional hospital in the provincial capital Jalalabad.

The shooting came after Taliban sources said their fighters had taken control of Panjshir, the last province in Afghanistan to resist the Islamist group.

Taliban opposition leaders deny the province fell.

Taliban sources also said Friday that the announcement of a new government would be postponed until next week.

The group’s co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who some insiders said will lead the new government, said in remarks on the Al Jazeera channel in Qatar that the new government “will include all factions of the Afghan people.”

“We are doing our best to improve their living conditions. The government will ensure security because it is necessary for economic development,” he said.

At least 17 people were reportedly killed by ceremonial gunfire (file)
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Image:

STRINGER / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

Meanwhile there were some signs of normalcy again in the Afghan capital.

The Qatari ambassador to Afghanistan said a technical team was able to reopen Kabul Airport for assistance, Al Jazeera said, also quoting its correspondent as saying that domestic flights have resumed.

The airport has been closed since the United States completed operations on Aug. 30 to evacuate diplomats, foreigners and Afghans who are considered to be at risk by the Taliban.

Taliban’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said that one of the main foreign exchange dealers in Kabul has reopened.

When the Taliban came to power, impoverished Afghanistan’s economy was in disarray. Many banks are closed and cash is scarce.

The United Nations has announced that it will convene an international relief conference in Geneva on September 13th to avert an “impending humanitarian catastrophe” that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called.

According to analysts, without the help the country has supported for years, it will be difficult for the Taliban to avert economic collapse.

Western powers say they are ready to work with the Taliban and provide humanitarian aid, but that formal government recognition and wider economic aid depend on action – not just promises – to protect human rights.

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