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Taliban say security forces killed dozens of Tajiks, Pakistanis involved in attacks in Afghanistan

By Associated Press
Published: December 31, 2023, 12:13pm

ISLAMABAD — Security forces in Afghanistan killed a number of Tajik and Pakistani nationals and arrested scores others involved in attacks against religious clerics, the public, and mosques, a senior Taliban official said Sunday.

Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Taliban’s appointed defense minister, during a press conference in the capital, Kabul, said dozens of Tajiks and more than 20 Pakistanis were killed in the past 12 months “in operations by security forces.”

He said scores of Tajiks and hundreds of Pakistanis involved in various incidents were also arrested during that period.

Mujahid called on neighboring and regional countries to strictly monitor their borders.

Tensions between Kabul and Islamabad spiked as hundreds of thousands of Afghans left Pakistan after authorities started pursuing foreigners they said were in the country illegally, going door-to-door to check migrants’ documentation, following an Oct.31 deadline.

Mujahid also said there has been a 90% decrease in attacks by an Islamic State group affiliate in the past year.

The militant group has carried out major assaults on schools, hospitals, and mosques, and has also attacked Shiite areas across the country.

The IS affiliate has been a major rival of the Taliban since the latter seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021. IS militants have struck in Kabul, in northern provinces and especially wherever there are Shiites, whom IS considers to be apostates.

Since taking power, the Taliban have barred women from most areas of public life and work and stopped girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade as part of harsh measures they imposed, as U.S. and NATO forces were pulling out of Afghanistan following two decades of war.