|[Published: Monday July 26 2021]
Taliban militants claim to control '90 percent' of Afghanistan's borders
KABUL, 26 July. - (ANA) - A spokesman for the Taliban claims that the militant group has seized control of 90 percent of Afghanistan's borders, following their offensives across the conflict-ridden country amid withdrawal of American forces.
"Afghanistan's borders with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran, or about 90 percent of the border, are under our control," Zabihullah Mujahid told Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday.
The claim was made as the militants are believed to control about half of Afghanistan's roughly 400 districts.
Mujahid also said that the Taliban would not stand the presence of Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the country, saying, "We assure you that we will not allow ISIS (Daesh) to become active in the country, in areas under our control."
Moreover, the spokesman said that after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces, the Taliban would not tolerate foreign troops in the country, including those from Turkey which has been in talks with Washington about taking over Kabul airport.
"We have already rejected Turkey's position and said that after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan we will not allow other foreign forces to remain in the country under any pretext," Mujahid said.
The Taliban group has previously called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan under a deal reached between the US and the militants in Qatar's capital, Doha, last year.
But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that Turkey is the only country that can be trusted to continue the process after the withdrawal.
Turkey, a NATO member, currently has about 600 troops in Afghanistan.
US-led foreign forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan after some two decades of war and occupation.
The US and NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext that the Taliban militants were harboring al-Qaeda, which had just carried out the "9/11 attacks" in the US. The invasion removed the Taliban from power, but it worsened the security situation in the country.
The Taliban militants are now intensifying their attacks amid the US pullout. Many have blamed the US and its NATO allies for the surge in violence in Afghanistan, saying they have failed to stabilize the security situation in the country. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/26 July 2021 - - -