Recent actions by the Taliban will not help them gain international legitimacy, the White House said on Friday, after the group killed the Afghan government’s senior media officer in Kabul.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the White House said the administration is “closely tracking” and is “concerned about” retaliatory killings of civilians.
“If the Taliban claim to want international legitimacy, these actions are not going to get them the legitimacy they seek. They do not have to stay on this trajectory. They could choose to devote the same energy to the peace process as they are to their military campaign,” Psaki said.
Taliban captured the city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province in southwestern Afghanistan, on Friday. They also claimed responsibility for killing Dawa Khan Menapal, the head of the Afghan government’s media and information center.
“First, let me strongly condemn, on behalf of the government, of course, the assassination of Dawa Khan Menapal, the director of the Afghan governmental information media center. His murder follows the bombing attack in Kabul earlier this week, the targeting at the acting Afghan defense minister,” Psaki said. “The Taliban has claimed responsibility for this later attack, and there’s no reason to doubt reports they are responsible.”
At least eight people were killed and 20 were wounded in the Taliban’s failed assassination attempt of Acting Defense Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi last week on Tuesday.