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Taliban claim ignorance of murdered al-Zawahiri's presence in Kabul

Afghanistan's Taliban regime on Thursday claimed it "did not know" that slain al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri lived in Kabul, a move by the US to violate Afghanistan's territorial sovereignty. Future warned of unspecified "consequences" if you do.

An official statement has been released in local languages ​​and English just days after a fugitive terrorist mastermind was killed in a U.S. airstrike in an upscale residential area in the heart of the Afghan capital. I was.

US President Joe Biden confirmed Zawahiri's assassination late Monday.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no information on Ayman al-Zawahiri's arrival and stay in Kabul," the Taliban statement said, using the government's official name of the hardline group. rice field.

Taliban leadership ordered a "serious and comprehensive" investigation into "various aspects of the incident," according to a statement.

The Islamist group again accused the US actions of violating Afghan territory and international law. The statement said the Taliban government "wants to implement the Doha Agreement and must end its violations."

"If such actions are repeated, the United States will be held accountable for the consequences," the Taliban said without elaborating.

Taliban fighters drive a car on a street following the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a U.S. strike over the weekend, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2, 2022.
Taliban fighters announced on 2 August 2022, Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri as the US strikes over the weekend in Kabul, Afghanistan.

He came to power nearly a year ago, striking a blow to the Taliban that have sought international legitimacy for their rule.

His February 2020 agreement, signed by the Taliban and Washington in the Qatari capital of Doha, called for US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan and then-Afghanistan to prevent multinational terrorists from operating in the country. demanded to withdraw from the rebel group.

But Washington has accused the Taliban of violating her 2020 pact.

“By housing and protecting al-Qaeda leaders in Kabul, the Taliban have flagrantly violated the Doha Accords and will not allow terrorists to use Afghan territory to threaten Afghan security. Repeated assurances to the world.

A senior US official said Monday that 71-year-old Egyptian jihadist leader Al-Zawahiri was on the balcony of a three-story house.

} “Members of the Haqqani Taliban acted swiftly to move Zawahiri's wife, daughter and children to another location. "The slain terrorist leader had a $25 million U.S. bounty on his head.

Drone attacks over the weekend were days after the Taliban Later, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mut said at an international conference hosted by neighboring Uzbekistan that the Uzbek government would not allow any group, including Al Qaeda, to use Afghanistan for terrorism against any country. I reconfirmed. He cited specific anti-terrorism provisions in the agreement.

"We heard in Tashkent last week that the Taliban were trying to persuade countries and organizations pledging to help the Afghan people that they had full control over Afghan territory. They reiterated their promise that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for terrorists," Thomas Niclasson, the European Union's special envoy for Afghanistan, said on Twitter on Wednesday.

“The US killing of Mr Zawahiri in central Kabul reinforces previous suspicions of such allegations. Were you unaware, unable to act, or unwilling to act?" asked the Envoy.

Nicklasson questioned whether the Taliban would be able to live up to their promise to govern the country through an "objectively inclusive government" and to respect human rights. "Are they more capable of delivering on these promises to the Afghan people?" It is said that it was done. The Haqqani Network is a powerful extremist group within the Taliban, with deep ties to Al Qaeda and ties to Pakistan's spy agency. The leader of the network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is a powerful interior minister in the Taliban government with a $10 million US bounty on his head.

Analysts were quick to question Thursday's Taliban declaration.

"It would not be wise for the Taliban to say that they did not know who lived in this house while they controlled the whole country," said the political commentator. , a former Afghan civil servant.

"The best course of action would have been to recognize the truth and move on, to meet the real challenges of Afghanistan," said Farhadi, a war-torn and disaster-hit country. He referred to the humanitarian and economic hardships facing the country's nearly 40 million people.

Washington, and the world at large, refuses to give legitimacy to Taliban rule, refusing to ease the restrictions hardline groups have placed on women to limit their access to work and education. It has linked such moves and endorsed counter-terrorism pledges..

The United States imposed tough financial sanctions on the Taliban, withholding about $7 billion of Afghanistan's foreign exchange reserves.

The United States and its allies invaded the South Asian country 20 years before her, planning the deadly terrorist attacks of September 2001 by al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri. Against the US that kicked out the then Taliban government in Kabul that allowed.

The Taliban later staged a deadly uprising and took over the country last August. The Western-backed government and its security forces collapsed in the face of a staggering rebel attack as international forces withdrew.

Al-Qaeda Bin Laden, the founder of his network, was found and killed by US forces in his hiding place in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in 2011, leaving Al-Zawahiri to succeed him.