The Taliban movement has rejected recent statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which pointed to the presence of 2,000 Islamic State fighters in northern Afghanistan and assured them that they had no evidence of a steady jihadist presence in the region.
During a summit meeting of heads of state and government of former Soviet states, Putin warned that “there are around 2,000 members of the Islamic State operating in northern Afghanistan alone”, describing them as “terrorists disguised as refugees” trying to reach key points in the country .
Putin also demanded that there should be no rush to recognize the Taliban as the country’s legitimate rulers, despite keeping the door open for talks. “We have to interact with them. We will talk about it and consult, maintain the reconciliation process in Afghanistan and try to normalize the situation in that country,” he said.
On the other hand, one of the information ministry officials, Inamulá Samangani, assured the Tolo News chain that “the concerns expressed” about the existence of the Islamic State in northern Afghanistan are “largely unfounded” because this group “does not have any Place in Afghanistan “.
However, Islamic State, and particularly its Afghan subsidiary, Khorasan Province, have come forward with the attacks on Shiite mosques in the country in recent weeks, in which hundreds of people have been killed.
The last one happened last Friday, without going any further, after several suicide bombers blew themselves up in one of the main mosques in Kandahar, the mosque of Imam Bargah. At least 62 people died in the attack, with added concern that it occurred in the region believed to be the cradle of the Taliban movement.
For his part, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Jan Mottaqi regretted Putin’s words. “The fact that the new Islamic government in Afghanistan is not recognized is an injustice. There are other countries where families rule and are recognized immediately,” he said in statements collected by the same medium.