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UN experts say terrorist groups enjoy freedom in Afghanistan, Taliban rejects report

ANI | Updated: Jun 02, 2022 00:57 IST

New York [US], June 2 (ANI): Terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda enjoy greater freedom in Afghanistan now than at any time in recent history as the past ties with Taliban have the potential of making Kabul a safe haven for extremists, according to a United Nations report.
The UN Security Council released a report by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team which assessed the presence of Al-Qaeda and Daesh groups in Afghanistan.
"The relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaida remains close, with the latter celebrating the former's success and renewing its pledge of allegiance to (Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada)," the UN report said.
"Member State assessments thus far suggest that Al-Qaida has a safe haven under the Taliban and increased freedom of action. Ayman al-Zawahiri has issued more frequent recorded messages since August, and there is now proof of life for him as recently as February 2022," the report qouted by Tolo News had stated.
The report estimated an approximate presence of "180 to 400 fighters affiliated with Al-Qaeda" from countries including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan who are settled in "Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Paktika and Zabul provinces."

"Taliban are starting to see the National Resistance Front challenge fading while recognizing ISIL-K as a more long-term and serious threat," the report also said.
Experts in the report which was circulated on Monday said that the terrorist linked to both Al Qaeda and the militant Islamic State (IS) group are successfully advancing in Africa, especially in the turbulent Sahel.
They said IS continues to operate "as an entrenched rural insurgency" in Iraq and Syria.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) issued a statement rejecting UN report stating that Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Emirate have a "close" relationship and that foreign groups are in Afghanistan.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan again reaffirms its commitments and reassures all that none shall be allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan against others," the statement said, as per Tolo News. (ANI)