Taliban say they won't work with US to contain Islamic State

Relatives and residents attend a funeral ceremony for victims of a suicide attack at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. The mosque was packed with Shiite Muslim worshippers when an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked during Friday prayers, killing dozens in the latest security challenge to the Taliban as they transition from insurgency to governance. (AP Photo/Abdullah Sahil)

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The Taliban on Saturday ruled out cooperation with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, staking out an uncompromising position on a key issue ahead of the first direct talks between the former foes since America withdrew from the country in August.

Senior Taliban officials and U.S. representatives are to meet Saturday and Sunday in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Officials from both sides have said issues include reining in extremist groups and the evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from the country. The Taliban have signaled flexibility on evacuations.

However, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press there would be no cooperation with Washington on containing the increasingly active Islamic State group in Afghanistan. IS has taken responsibility for a number of recent attacks, including a suicide bombing Friday that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims and wounded dozens as they prayed in a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz.

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