Afghan Taliban ask neighbouring countries to not allow foreign bases
The Afghan Taliban on Wednesday urged all neighbouring countries to not allow bases of foreign armies – withdrawing from Afghanistan – and said it would "be a great and historic mistake and a disgrace" if they are allowed to do so.
“Recently, various media outlets quoted well-known sources as saying that the United States wants to stay in our neighbourhood after withdrawing from Afghanistan in order to carry out operations in our country," said a statement from the spokesperson of the Afghan Taliban.
He added that due to the sensitivity of the issue, the 'Islamic Emirate' wants to clarify its position in advance and share it with all.
“The foreign forces in the region are the root cause of insecurity and war and the great tragedy that everyone has witnessed in the last twenty years, especially our afflicted people, more than anyone else,” he maintained.
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The spokesperson further stated that if such a step is taken again, it will be a great and historic mistake and a disgrace, the message of which will go down in history.
“The Muslim and Mujahids of Afghanistan will not remain silent in the face of such heinous and provocative acts,” he said, adding “Rather, they will fulfil their religious and historical responsibilities in the same way as they have throughout history," warned the spokesperson.
Furthermore, the Taliban representative added that they have repeatedly assured others that Afghan soil will not be used against any other country, while also urging others not to use their soil and airspace against Afghanistan.
“If such a step is taken, then the responsibility for all the misfortunes and difficulties lies with the person who commits such mistakes,” the statement read.
Earlier on Sunday Afghan forces clashed with Taliban fighters in a provincial capital about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Kabul, officials and witnesses said, prompting the defence minister to take charge of the counteroffensive.
Violence has soared in Afghanistan since US forces began their final pull-out on May 1, as the insurgents press on with a campaign to seize new territory.
Fierce fighting erupted on the edge of Mihtarlam, a city of around 140,000 people and the capital of Laghman province.
Read more: Taliban overrun key district next to Kabul
At one point Defence Minister Yasin Zia took personal charge in the field, officials said.
The ministry said at least 50 Taliban fighters were killed in overnight fighting.
The uptick in fighting around Kabul is stirring memories of Afghanistan's descent into civil war in the 1990s following the Soviet army's withdrawal when militias choked off key routes into the capital and piled pressure on security forces until the government collapsed.