Taliban say no peace with ‘occupation,’ want U.S. talks

In a message released on 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 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.

In a message released on 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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