KABUL – Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the new Taliban leader, on Saturday asked the US to leave Afghanistan at once in his first publicized message since being appointed as the militant group´s supreme leader in May.

“Admit the realities instead of the useless use of force and muscle show and put an end to the occupation,” Akhundzada said in a speech ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslim festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramazan.

“Our message to the American invaders and her allies is this: the Afghan Muslim people neither fear your force nor your stratagem. They consider martyrdom in a confrontation with you as a cherished goal of their life,” Akhundzada said.

“You will not be able to frustrate the determination and our Jihadic struggle, by extending the time of presence of your soldiers or of increasing military rule of engagement in Afghanistan,” Akhundzada said.

“You are facing up not a group or faction but a nation. You are not going to be a winner,” he added.