Taliban Foreign Minister Denies Presence of ISKP in Afghanistan
Photo: Afghanistan's national television

Taliban foreign minister denies presence of ISKP in Afghanistan

The Taliban’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, has denied the presence of any armed opposition groups fighting the Taliban, including Islamic State – Khurasan Province (ISKP), in Afghanistan. He made these remarks in an exclusive interview aired by the Taliban-run national television on Saturday.

The ISKP, Muttaqi said, has been suppressed in Afghanistan and those responsible for recent incidents and explosions – referring to recent ISKP claimed attacks– have come from abroad.

He makes such claim amid surging ISKP attacks in northern Afghanistan and as well as the Taliban’s increased raids against ISKP hideouts which have been very recently confirmed by Taliban spokesmen.

Last week, the ISKP claimed responsibility for the two attacks in the northern province of Balkh, including the one which killed Taliban’s governor in the province, the group’s most senior official to be killed since it returned to power in August 2021.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman said on Saturday that the Taliban special forces had carried out an operation on three hideouts of “Daesh Khawarij” in northern Balkh province, using the local acronym for the ISKP.

The United States CENTCOM Commander General Michael Kurilla recently warned that the ISIS affiliate network (ISIS-K) or ISKP was increasing its capability in Afghanistan and the group could potentially launch attacks against American and Western interests within six months.

The Taliban’s foreign minister disavowed the statement of the US general, noting that such warnings were either made out of ignorance or to serve their own specific intentions.