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Taliban denies freeing suicide bomber before deadly Kabul attack

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By Euronews  with EBU
In this Aug. 26, 2021, file photo smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In this Aug. 26, 2021, file photo smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.   -   Copyright  Wali Sabawoon / AP

The Taliban has strongly denied US claims that it was responsible for setting free the Islamic State-linked suicide bomber who killed almost 200 people and 13 American troops at Kabul's airport in August last year.

Five months after the withdrawal of US forces and a bloody suicide attack at Abby-Gates of Kabul International Airport, US intelligence officials have collected details about the suicide bomber of this attack.

According to them, he was Abdul Rahman Logari, and in 2017 he was studying engineering at a university in India.

Their report claims the CIA had previously caught and jailed him in Bagram prison before the Taliban released him during the chaotic final days of the fall of Afghanistan.

US officials have also claimed that the Islamic Emirate has released 12,000 prisoners, including 6,000 Taliban, 1,800 ISIS members, and about 32 al-Qaeda members, after seizing control of Bagram prison.

Hours before the Taliban took control of Kabul and Bagram Prison, the locks of these large prisons were broken and thousands of dangerous prisoners escaped.

Neither the Taliban nor the previous government has taken responsibility for this.

However, the Taliban denied this and claimed the prisoner had escaped before they took over because prison guards had deserted their posts.

"Before the arrival of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate’s Mujahideen, the prisons were broken out, and prisoners were able to escape because security guards escaped before, and this facilitated the escape for prisoners," said Anamullah Samangani, the deputy spokesman of the Taliban administration in Afghanistan.

"So we cannot say that all the prisoners were released by the Islamic Emirate. It has not yet been determined whether the attack was carried out by someone who was released from prison because the time interval between the two events -- which was his release from prison and the attack at the airport -- was very short and it may not be possible for an attack to occur in the short term." 

The Taliban denial comes as the group seeks international recognition and the unfreezing of its bank accounts.

It has assured foreign governments that it will not tolerate Islamic State fighters within its borders.