Taliban reject US aid to fight Islamic State terrorism
The Taliban have ruled out any possible cooperation with the United States to combat Islamic State terrorism, which has been rampant in Afghanistan since the withdrawal of American troops.
“We are able to fight Daesh independently,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press, using an Arabic name for the terrorist organization.
Senior US and Taliban officials are meeting this weekend to discuss the upsurge in terrorist violence. The talks are taking place in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where Islamists have long held political office.
The Taliban have struggled in recent weeks to curb a series of bombings by ISIS-K, which has developed a stronghold in the eastern province of Nangarhar. The provincial capital of Jalalabad has seen regular bombings, for which the group claimed credit, which killed both Taliban fighters and civilians.
For their part, Taliban fighters destroyed an Islamic State hideout north of Kabul last week.
The Taliban have come under pressure in recent days from the country’s clerics to safeguard their places of worship. A bomb attack on a Shiite mosque in Kunduz province on Friday left at least 46 dead. Shia Muslims are a minority in Afghanistan, which mainly follows Sunni Islam.