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Taliban Deny Tweet Sent from Pakistan

by AFP
Leon Neal—AFP

Leon Neal—AFP

Twitter’s geolocation facility had tagged the Afghan Taliban’s main spokesman in a part of Sindh province.

The Taliban’s main spokesman in Afghanistan on Saturday denied that a tweet in which he claimed the group had killed 13 Afghan soldiers had been sent from southern Pakistan.

Zabiullah Mujahid denounced the tweet as an “enemy plot” after the social network’s geolocation facility tagged the militant in Sindh, hundreds of miles from the Afghan border. Afghan officials harbor longstanding suspicions of connections between the hardline movement’s Afghanistan branch and Islamabad’s intelligence services.

The tweet, which also claimed the group had taken over three security checkpoints on Thursday in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan, eastern Afghanistan, appeared on a Twitter feed recognized as belonging to Mujahid.

He later tweeted from the same account: “My twitter account has been manipulated—as part of weak efforts of enemy plot, it showed that I am based in Sindh of Pakistan, I call this attempt as fake and shame. Now, the enemy fake act has been exposed, and with full confidence, I can say that I am in my own country.”

The Afghan spokesman’s tweets are usually in his country’s two local languages of Pashto and Dari but sometimes in English, and often claim responsibility for attacks on Afghan security forces and U.S.-led NATO coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Many Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to seek shelter in Pakistan, and Islamabad’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency is often accused of maintaining ties to the militants to ensure future influence in Afghanistan after U.S.-led NATO troops withdraw.

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