The Taliban ruled out any possible cooperation with the United States to fight terrorism in Islamic State – which has increasingly plagued Afghanistan since the withdrawal of US troops.
“We are capable of tackling Daesh independently,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press, using an Arabic name for the terrorist organization.
Senior U.S. and Taliban officials are meeting over the weekend to discuss the rising tide of terrorist violence. The talks are being held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where Islamists have long held political office.
In recent weeks, the Taliban have struggled to stop a series of bombings by ISIS-K, which has developed a stronghold in the eastern province of Nangarhar. The provincial capital of Jalalabad has seen regular bombings, which the group has claimed credit for, killing both Taliban fighters and civilians.
Taliban fighters last week destroyed an Islamic State hideout north of Kabul.
The Taliban have come under pressure from the country’s clergy in recent days to protect their places of worship. On Friday, a bomb blast near a Shiite mosque in Kunduz province left at least 46 people dead. Shiite Muslims are a minority in Afghanistan, who predominantly follow Sunni Muslims.