Taliban dismisses UNSC report on group maintaining ties with terror groups

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Kabul [Afghanistan], July 26 (ANI): The Taliban on Sunday rejected a UN Security Council (UNSC) report which said that the group has been maintaining ties with al-Qaeda and that some of its fighters are joining the ranks of the Islamic State, Sputnik reported. On Thursday, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring presented a report to the UNSC, saying that al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is operating under the Taliban umbrella in several Afghan provinces. In addition, the document said that the IS has a presence in Nangarhar and Kunar Provinces and "aims to attract Taliban fighters who oppose the agreement with the United States." "Claims that 400-600 foreign Al Qaeda operatives are present in Afghanistan are not based on facts because following the American aggression against Afghanistan and the launch of a great war, the possibility for foreign fighter presence and stay was eliminated. And when great changes happened in the Arab world, Al Qaeda members found secure zones in their own countries and all left our country for their own homelands," the Taliban said. The information that IS fighters are present in northern Afghanistan and operate bases there is "also baseless" because the Taliban have waged "large-scale wars" against the terror group, and "all have been expelled from areas under our control," the group said. The Taliban went on to claim that IS militants may be "present in cities under the control of Kabul administration" after resettling "in guest houses" by the Afghan intelligence following "clashes with us." As for the claim that some Talibs may join the IS, the group further called them a "fabrication," citing the "unity" of its ranks. The Taliban claimed that the report is based on "false intelligence" provided by those seeking the continuation of the war in Afghanistan and the continued US presence. Under the February deal, the US conditionally pledges to gradually pull its forces out of Afghanistan within 14 months. The Taliban, in return, vow that the country will not become a safe haven for terrorist groups. (ANI)