Taliban sources said a three-pronged attack won control of the province, with its crucial airstrip. Fighting was said to have been fierce, with a senior Taliban commander among the casualties. The Islamic militiareportedly bribed at least one opposition commander into switching sides.
How the Iranians will react to the defeat of their allies, if confirmed, is difficult to predict. It may provoke them into swift military action to prevent more Taliban success. If Bamyan has fallen, only the north- east of the country, including the Panjshir valley stronghold of the veteran commander Ahmed Shah Masood, is in opposition hands. For years Iran, a largely Shia Muslim country, has supported the Hezb-i-Wahdat against the largely Sunni Muslim Taliban.