The Taliban are moving quickly to squash resistance to their reign in Afghanistan, cutting off internet access in the holdout Panjshir province in the Panjshir Valley, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
It was unclear how the Taliban cut the access, but the report showed the Taliban's willingness to use technology to seize power as the last American plane left the country Monday.
The Panjshir Valley is held by anti-Taliban resistance fighters, and the Taliban effectively cut internet and telecommunications access, a BBC reporter tweeted Monday:
"Local sources tell me almost all internet and telecom services have been disrupted by the Taliban in Panjshir. An anti-resistance movement has been forming there since the fall of Kabul #Afghanistan"
Loss of internet access will affect the resistance's ability to communicate, particularly with the outside world as the Taliban seek to consolidate their hold of the country after President Joe Biden's withdrawal completed.
Cutting internet access is a common tactic in communist countries, mimicking the Cuban regime during the protests there earlier this summer, the Free Beacon reported.
Kabul residents still have internet and telecommunications access, but Panjshir Valley residents noted Monday that their access was cut. China, a potential Taliban ally, has internet firewalls limiting access throughout their country, the Free Beacon noted.
Taliban leaders had met with officials at the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority last week, and former chairman Mohammad Najeeb Azizi warned, "the internet is under threat in Afghanistan," fearing the censoring of anti-Taliban speech.
Internet in the country was already in peril as the Taliban have been destroy cell towers in recent months and South Africa’s MTN Group announced it would cease operations in Afghanistan.
Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at the network observation company Kentik, said the Taliban might ultimately be unable to afford the fiber-optic cables that connect Afghanistan to the world.
The Panjshir Valley is mountainous, helping resistance fighters hold it from Taliban takeover to date.
The valley's resistance leader, Ahmad Massoud, said they will be "fighting for the whole of Afghanistan and not just one province."
"We are concerned about the rights of Afghans, women, and minorities," he added, the Free Beacon reported.
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