At least 17 people were killed and more than 50 injured by celebratory gunfire in response to rumors that the last stronghold of Afghanistan resistance had fallen to the Taliban.
After Taliban sources claimed their fighters had seized control of Panjshir, a valley about 50 miles north of Kabul, gunshots rang out in the streets of the capital city. Local news agencies reported 17 people killed and 41 injured, according to Reuters.
Another 14 were injured by celebrations in Nangarhar province east of the capital, Gulzada Sangar, spokesman for an area hospital in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, told Reuters.
The celebrations were not only deadly, but also premature. The rumors that the Taliban took the Panjshir Valley were not true, according to resistance fighters and the former Afghan vice president, who is among those still holding off the Islamist group.
“The resistance is not going to bow to terrorism,” Amrullah Saleh said in a video shared by the BBC.
Main Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told celebrants with weapons to use their heads.
“Avoid shooting in the air and thank God instead,” Mujahid tweeted. “Bullets can harm civilians, so don’t shoot unnecessarily.”