The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day by declaring victory over the U.S., which it described as "the arrogant power of the world", AP News reported.
The occasion on August 19 originally commemorated a 1919 treaty made between the UK and Afghanistan, which ended British rule in the country.
The Taliban added:
"Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of independence from Britain,” the Taliban said. “We at the same time as a result of our jihadi resistance forced another arrogant of power of the world, the United States, to fail and retreat from our holy territory of Afghanistan."
Three people shot dead prior to Independence day for protesting over removal of Afghanistan's national flag
The previous day saw the Taliban opening fire on a crowd in the city of Jalalabad for replacing the militant group's flag with Afghanistan's national flag, killing at least three people and wounding more than 12, Reuters reported.
The Taliban also beat people with batons in an effort to disperse them, AP News highlighted.
At least three people killed and several more injured in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, after gunshots were fired at a protest against the use of the Taliban flaghttps://t.co/xnoZAlHsgl pic.twitter.com/POPYK2vnoI— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 18, 2021
The crowd marked the first public display of collective defiance against the Taliban's takeover of the country.
However, neither the protests nor the violence have been acknowledged by the militants.
Anti-Taliban opposition gathers in sole province not under their control
In the meantime, the Panjshir Valley to the northeast of Kabul has become the focal gathering point for parties opposed to the Taliban.
It is also the only province that has not fallen under Taliban control.
Figures who have gathered at Panjshir Valley include Afghanistan's Vice-President, Amrullah Saleh and Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi.
Saleh has further stated that he is now Afghanistan's "legitimate caretaker President" in light of President Ashraf Ghani's flight from the country, Reuters further reported.
Calling on Afghans to join the resistance, he said that he would not bow to the "Talib terrorists" under any circumstances.
The resistance is currently headed by Ahmad Massoud, the son of a former mujahideen commander who had opposed the Taliban's initial reign and was assassinated by Al-Qaeda, two days before the 9/11 attacks.
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, he called for weapons to be provided to the resistance, warning that Afghanistan will once again become "ground zero of radical Islamic terrorism."
Top screenshot via Zabehulah_M33 Twitter