New Taliban leader tells US to end Afghan ‘occupation’ in first message


The newly-appointed supreme leader of the Taliban group Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada has promised to bring reforms under his leadership including the women’s rights. Meanwhile he has issued a chilling message to America, ordering it to end its "occupation" of Afghanistan.

Haibatullah Akhundzada gave the order during his first message since taking over from Akhtar Mansour, who was killed in US drone strike in May. The militant group’s chief said: "Admit the realities instead of useless use of force and muscle show and put an end to the occupation." He was speaking on the eve of Muslim celebration, Eid-al-Fitr, which is held at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, AFP reports. He added: "Our message to the American invaders and her allies is this: the Afghan Muslim people neither fear your force nor your stratagem. "They consider martyrdom in confrontation with you as a cherished goal of their life.

"You are facing… not a group or faction but a nation. You are not going to be a winner (if Allah willing)." The statement comes two days after two Taliban bomb blasts killed 32 officers and wounded 78 others on the edge of Kabul. It also comes nearly 15 years after American forces began attacks on Afghanistan following the September 11 tragedy in 2001 in a bid to dismantle al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power. Although in 2014, NATO formally ended combat operations in the country, an agreement was made last year for a small presence to remain.

Airstrikes are estimated to have killed 1,500 to 2,000 militants since January 1, 2015, as well as 75 to 100 civilians. Turning his attention to allied forces, Akhundzada added: "Our message to the supporters of the invaders is that it might have dawned on you during the past 15 years that you are being used for (the) realisation of American goals. "Your support and siding with invaders is like the work of those abhorrent faces who in our past history supported the Britons and the Soviets."