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Taliban leader says spent 8 yrs in Guantanamo prison as outfit vows ‘no revenge’

The U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Walter Michot/Miami Herald/TNS)

A commander of the Taliban has claimed that he had been an inmate of the Guantanamo prison in Cuba, run by the United States. Delivering a victory speech after taking over a deserted Presidential Palace in Kabul on Sunday, a leader of the Islamic militant said he had spent eight years in the US Navy-controlled detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, that has become a worldwide symbol of the excesses in the “war on terror” launched after the September 2001 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center by the Osama Bin Laden-led Al-Qaeda.

The insurgents have promised a rule of “serenity” and “no revenge” following their takeover even as chaos descended in the war-ravaged nation with citizens, including President Ashraf Ghani, struggling to leave Afghanistan.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the leader’s triumphant address was live-streamed by Al-Jazeera news channel from inside the ancient palace which showed Taliban troops sitting at the President’s desk.

Soon after, the insurgents said an Islamic state of Afghanistan would be established, declaring the war to be over and the form of regime would become clear soon.

A spokesman for the Taliban’s political office told the Qatar-based channel they were ready for talks with all Afghan figures and would guarantee them necessary protection. “We assure everyone that we will provide safety for citizens and diplomatic missions,” spokesperson Mohammad Naeem said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have reportedly set free thousands of Afghanistan’s most dangerous captives after taking over the former American base at Bagram and the prison known as Afghanistan’s Guantanamo Bay.

The Taliban said the Bagram prison contained the 5,000 “highest value” Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters captured on the battlefield. A Taliban spokesman said they were “being evacuated to a safe place”.


(c) 2021 the Hindustan Times

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