Below is a statement from the Afghan Taliban, which refers to itself as the "Islamic Emirate [state] of Afghanistan" (as it did in the 1990s). The statement is run without edits.
The statement is signed in the name of a senior Afghan Taliban spokesman
Some media outlets have published reports of murder of 12 students in Ghazni province in order to pander to the wants and demands of the rulers of the stooge regime. Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan elucidated the matter for readers as follows:
Firstly, no one has been killed in Ghazni on charge of a student of a school. It is a baseless allegation. However, Mujahideen had detained four spies with espionage equipments including GPS and intelligence documents. A special court interrogated the detainees for 20 days.
They admitted without any coercion that they were spies. So the Islamic court passed an Islamic ruling, sentencing them to death. Similarly, two hireling soldiers were sentenced to death for their having committed murder and other crimes in the area. One of the spies was a man who had graduated from school last year but he then was clandestinely employed as spy by the surrogate regime.
Had the Mujahideen intended to kill students of schools, they would have not allowed any school in areas under their administration but all are witness to the fact that all schools are operating normally in areas under control of the Islamic Emirate. Furthermore, hundreds of university students, teachers, and writers are waging their literary and military Jihad shoulder to shoulder with other students of religious seminaries in the ranks of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Secondly, we urge all media outlets to observe their journalistic code of neutrality while filing reports and should not intentionally tarnish their good name. People know the ground realities and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan maintains good relations with people. So some media outlets who actually work for the vested interests of the puppet rulers and their masters will not be able to affect any rift between the Islamic Emirate and the people of Afghanistan.