Kabul [Afghanistan], July 22 (ANI): Taliban on Thursday said that they will not let the terrorist organisation ISIS become active in Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that there are no terrorists from Central Asia or China's Uyghur region in Taliban-controlled areas, reported Sputnik.
This comes a day after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said the focus of US military efforts in Afghanistan will be countering terrorist threats, not the Taliban, following the withdrawal.
"We assure you that we will not let ISIS to become active in the country, in the areas under our control. As for the presence of terrorists from other countries, I completely deny this. There are no terrorists from Central Asia or China in the country. We assure you that we ... will prevent them from entering the country," Sputnik quoted Mujahid as saying.
On Wednesday, Austin said the US will "keep an eye on" Al-Qaeda, the extremist network whose use of Afghanistan as a haven for planning the 9/11 attacks on the United States was the reason US forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
In the past few weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.
The Taliban now control about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan, and while they have yet to capture any of the country's 34 provincial capitals, said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
As the Taliban seize more territory, the Afghan security forces are consolidating their positions to protect key population centres, including Kabul, he said. (ANI)