Taliban spokesman denies detention of US citizens in Afghanistan

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, has denied that US citizens are detained by the group after the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that his department was working to secure the release of “several Americans” held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

There is no US citizen imprisoned in Afghanistan and no American has been detained recently, TOLONews, a private news channel operating from Kabul, cited Mujahid as saying in response to Blinken’s comments.

“There are several Americans who are being detained by the Taliban. We are working to secure their freedom. The families have asked that we protect their identities and don’t speak publicly to their cases,” Blinken said during his hearing session at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last Thursday, according to FOX News.

He added there are still about 175 Americans still in Afghanistan with 44 of them ready to leave the country. “We are working to effectuate their departure,” Blinken said about the 44 Americans who have already expressed their readiness to leave the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

This comes as the Committee has already kicked off its investigation of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 which led to the collapse of the Afghan government, backed for two decades by the US and its allies, and the Taliban’s return to power.

Blinken has so far been repeatedly accused of not cooperating with the investigation by the committee’s chairman, Michael McCaul.

The US National Security Council Coordinator, John Kirby, said in a press conference on Wednesday that the review of US withdrawal was ongoing, and the findings of the review will be available for public release by mid-April.