Hamas congratulates Taliban on 'courageous leadership'

Hamas said in a statement that it 'congratulates the Taliban movement and its courageous leadership on this victory, which was the culmination of its long struggle over the past 20 years'.

Taliban fighters patrol the streets of Kabul on 16 August 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. Picture: Wakil Kohsar/AFP

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories - The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, congratulated the Taliban on Monday for their "victory" in returning to power in Afghanistan.

Hamas said in a statement that it "congratulates the Taliban movement and its courageous leadership on this victory, which was the culmination of its long struggle over the past 20 years".

The Taliban, a hardline Sunni Muslim fundamentalist movement, ended two decades of American and allied military presence on Sunday, as its militants patrolled the streets of Kabul and settled into the presidential palace.

Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007, wished "the Afghan Muslim people and its leadership success in achieving unity, stability and prosperity".

The end of the US presence in Afghanistan proves "that the resistance of the peoples, foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian people, is destined for victory", it said.

Israel and most Western nations consider Hamas a terrorist group, and the Jewish state has maintained a blockade on the crowded Gaza Strip, home to nearly two million people, since Hamas took power.

The group, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, has fought four wars against Israel.

The Taliban have retaken Afghanistan nearly 20 years after being ousted by Western forces for supporting al-Qaeda following the events of 11 September 2001. Here is a timeline of key events in Afghanistan since 1979. Picture: AFP

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