The Taliban’s acting Foreign Minister admitted that 1,800 ISIS terrorists were released last year and claimed that ISIS fighters have been subdued while on the contrary, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the recent deadly attacks on mosques, schools, and cars across Afghanistan.
Muttaqi even contradicted his statement, saying “the ISIS prisoners had been causing unrest in the country during the previous 11 months.”
Addressing the Tashkent international conference, acting Foreign Minister of the Taliban Amir Khan Muttaqi informed that when the Taliban took control of Kabul, the Afghan capital, 1,800 ISIS terrorists were released from Bagram and Pul-eCharkhi prisons, the Khaama Press reported.
During his address, Foreign Minister Muttaqi confirmed the release of the ISIS prisoners and said that the Taliban had grown strong enough to subdue ISIS fighters during the previous 11 months of their administration.
The previous Afghan administration flew the ISIS members to Kabul after they were besieged by the Taliban in Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, Khaama quoted the acting minister as saying.
Uzbekistan hosted an international conference on Afghanistan on July 25-26 which was attended by the representatives of 20 world countries.
Earlier, US officials expressed concern over the release of the ISIS prisoners and said that their release by the Taliban from the prisons of Pul-e-Charkhi and Bagram had strengthened the group.
In February, the nominee to head the US Central Command, Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla raised concern over the Taliban freeing Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS) prisoners and warned that the foreign terrorist groups are “reconstituting” in Afghanistan.
All prisoners in detention centres and prisons in Afghanistan were pardoned after the Taliban took control of the country last August. Despite the Taliban’s claims that ISIS does not physically exist in Afghanistan and does not pose a threat, the group had claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on mosques, schools, and cars, the publication said.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August, the country has been mired in violence. The string of terrorist attacks took place in Afghanistan on April 21, 2022, including the attack against the Seh Dokan Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif and a separate attack in Kunduz, both claimed by Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), an entity affiliated with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh).
The attacks have resulted in dozens killed and many more injured and follow other recent attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including in religious minority communities, across Afghanistan. Moreover, the law and order situation has deteriorated and Afghan citizens are living in perpetual fear of blasts and explosions.