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Top US general warns ‘very good probability’ of civil war in Afghanistan

A Taliban fighter stands guard as people move past him at a market with currency exchange shops in Kabul on September 5, 2021. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP)
A Taliban fighter stands guard as people move past him at a market with currency exchange shops in Kabul on September 5, 2021. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters advance deep into the last holdout province of Panjshir, as the top US general warns Afghanistan faces a wider civil war that would offer fertile ground for a resurgence of terrorism.

Following their lightning fast-rout of Afghanistan’s army last month — and celebrations when the last US troops flew out after 20 years of war on Monday — the Taliban are seeking to crush resistance forces defending the mountainous Panjshir Valley.

The Taliban, who rolled into Kabul three weeks ago at a speed that analysts say likely surprised even the hardline Islamists themselves, are yet to finalize their new regime.

But US General Mark Milley questions whether they can consolidate power as they seek to shift from a guerrilla force to government.

“I think there’s at least a very good probability of a broader civil war,” says Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a bleak assessment.

“That will then in turn lead to conditions that could, in fact, lead to a reconstitution of Al-Qaeda or a growth of ISIS (Islamic State group),” he tells Fox News.

Taliban official Bilal Karimi reports heavy clashes today in Panjshir, and while resistance fighters insist they have the Islamists at bay, analysts warn they are struggling.

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