Russia has expressed concern over widespread protests over ethnic issues in northern Afghanistan.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday (January 20th) that the protests in northern Afghanistan had taken place over the detention of a Taliban commander of the Uzbek ethnic group on charges of committing illegal acts.
“We hope that the new authorities will not succumb to provocations designed by destructive elements to incite ethnic hatred to destabilize the country at such a difficult time,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
Supporters of Makhdoom Alam, one of the Taliban commanders from the Uzbek community in Faryab province, protested over his detention last week. The protests lasted for two days and reportedly left casualties.
The Taliban said Makhdoom Alam had been arrested on charges of involvement in kidnappings.
Meanwhile, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman praised the Taliban for killing Aslam Farooqi, a former ISIS leader in Afghanistan and members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. Maria Zakharova called Hizb ut-Tahrir a terrorist group.
She called on the Taliban to step up efforts against the Islamic State in Khurasan Province (ISKP) and Hizb ut-Tahrir in Takhar province, given the terrorist activities in the northern provinces bordering Central Asia.
Central Asian states, including Tajikistan, have repeatedly expressed concern over military movements across the border with Afghanistan. Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon recently proposed establishing a security belt around Afghanistan.
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Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily