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Al Qaeda remains close to Taliban: UN official

A senior UN official has claimed that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has maintained close ties with the Afghan Taliban despite the latters assurance to the US to cut ties with the group.

"Senior figures remain in Afghanistan, as well as hundreds of armed operatives," TOLO News reported on Saturday citing Edmund Fitton-Brown, coordinator of the US monitoring team for IS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as saying at a webinar.

According to Fitton-Brown, the Taliban consulted the Al Qaeda on a regular basis during the peace negotiations with the US.

But in a message to TOLO News, the Taliban rejected the UN official's claims, saying certain intelligence groups were trying to disrupt peace in Afghanistan.

Under the US-Taliban peace agreement signed between the two in Doha on February 29, the Taliban committed to halt all kinds of ties with terrorist organisations including Al Qaeda.