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Moscow expects liquidation of Taliban leader to worsen situation in Afghanistan

May 26, 16:07 UTC+3
The operation to liquidate Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour that involved US special force units was conducted by the US army on May 21
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A local newspaper with photos the former leader of the Afghan Taliban

A local newspaper with photos the former leader of the Afghan Taliban

© AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Liquidation of the Taliban leader will worsen the security situation in Afghanistan, it is fraught with the strengthening of radical forces in the movement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"Liquidation of Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour is fraught with the strengthening of the Taliban movement, the influence of the radical, irreconcilable forces in it," Zakharova said. "This may only worsen the security situation and complicate prospects for the launch of the negotiating process between Kabul and the Taliban."

"We support the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan with absolute understanding that the armed opposition will abandon the practice of the use of violence and break all ties with terrorist organizations, primarily with Islamic State and Al-Qaeda (terrorist organizations outlawed in Russia)," she said.

"We have seen a lot of conjectures, myths about some contacts of Moscow with this figure in the Taliban movement," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. "These were conjectures, insinuations, there is no other way of putting it."

Zakharova called liquidation of Mansour a repetition of the traditional US scenario in which "the people with whom they begin to negotiate are later destroyed."

The operation to liquidate Mansour that involved American special force units was conducted by the US army on May 21.

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