Afghanistan announces the deaths of six suspected al-Qaeda members in a bomb attack in the south of the country

The Afghan government announced on Thursday the deaths of six suspected members of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and four members of the Taliban in a series of bomb attacks that took place in southern Helmand province on Wednesday.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense, in a brief statement posted on its website, indicated that the air strikes were carried out in Naua district, adding that among the dead were four Pakistanis who were part of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQSI) .

She has stated that among the fatal victims is a local AQSI leader whom she has identified as Abbas, as well as Mullah Shafiq, a Taliban commander who operated in this area in the south of the Central Asian country.

Afghanistan announces the deaths of six suspected al-Qaeda members in a bomb attack in the south of the country
Afghanistan announces the deaths of six suspected al-Qaeda members in a bomb attack in the south of the country

The Ministry of Defense has highlighted that in operations carried out in various provinces over the past 24 hours, a total of 223 suspected Taliban have been killed and 126 injured without insurgents commenting.

Kabul has accused the Taliban of maintaining its ties with al-Qaeda, contrary to what was agreed in the historic peace agreement signed between the US and the insurgents on February 29, despite the Taliban’s insistence that al-Qaeda ” “has” no presence in Afghanistan.

The Defense Ministry’s announcement came hours after the United Nations Security Council issued a report indicating that the Taliban were a growing threat to the Afghan authorities, adding that the Taliban and al-Qaeda continued to “close” despite the deal. Maintain relationships.

The report states that “the Taliban and Al-Qaeda continue to have close ties and show no signs of detachment,” before emphasizing that “there are no significant changes in this relationship that have deepened due to personal ties.” and their shared role in combat, cemented by the bonds of the second generation. “

“Although the Doha Agreement has raised some expectations about a break in the long relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the publicly available text does not define any expectations and the appendices are secret,” he said, emphasizing that “at least al-Qaeda in 15 provinces, mainly the east, south and southeast. “

“The members of the group were relocated to more remote areas by the Taliban to avoid potential exposure and attacks,” emphasizes the text, which emphasizes that “Al-Qaeda maintains contact with the Taliban but minimizes open communication with the Taliban Has”. Leadership to hold back and not endanger the Taliban’s diplomatic position on the Doha Agreement.

In doing so, he underlines that “a significant part of the Al Qaeda leadership persists in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a core that AQSI joins and works closely with” and adds that “the strategy of Al – Qaeda in the short term is their safe places in Afghanistan for their leadership. “

The report also highlights that the group’s leader, Ayman al Zawahiri, would be “staying” in this border area despite recent information about his possible death. With that in mind, he notes that “reports of his death from illness have not been confirmed”.

On the other hand, she reveals that AQSI “operates under the umbrella of the Taliban from Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces” and is an “organic or substantial” part of the insurgents, for whom she argues “it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get him to separate from his Taliban allies. “

“The death of several al-Qaeda commanders in Taliban-controlled areas underscores the closeness between the two groups,” says the text, which recalls that AQSI published a message in May 2020 at the end of Ramadan in which they ” the agreement introduced. Doha as an example of divine victory and reward for following jihad. “

“Both organizations are expected to maintain their distance and discretion for as long as necessary to achieve the Taliban’s goals. Al Qaeda could benefit from new credibility in the face of the Taliban’s progress,” he said.

Finally, the report of the United Nations Security Council stresses that “it will be important for the international community to monitor all signs that Afghanistan is once again becoming a target for extremists with regional and international agendas”.

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