Taliban say no peace with ‘occupation,’ want US talks

Published August 18, 2018, 3:54 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By the Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — The leader of the Taliban says there will be no peace in Afghanistan as long as the foreign “occupation” continues, reiterating the group’s position that the 17-year war can only be brought to an end through direct talks with the United States.

Families leave their houses during a nearby clash between insurgents and security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Gunmen besieged a compound belonging to the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul on Thursday, police said, as the city's Shiite residents held funeral services for the victims of a horrific suicide bombing the previous day that left over 30 dead. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
Families leave their houses during a nearby clash between insurgents and security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Gunmen besieged a compound belonging to the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul on Thursday, police said, as the city’s Shiite residents held funeral services for the victims of a horrific suicide bombing the previous day that left over 30 dead. (AP Photo/MANILA BULLETIN)

In a message released Saturday in honor of the Eid al-Adha holiday, Maulvi Haibatullah Akhunzadah says the group remains committed to “Islamic goals,” the sovereignty of Afghanistan and ending the war.

The Taliban have had a major resurgence in recent years, seizing districts across the country and regularly carrying out large-scale attacks.

From 1996 until 2001, the Taliban ruled in accordance with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Women were barred from education and largely confined to their homes, and the country hosted Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

 
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