KABUL: Afghanistan’s Taliban government announced a ban on the use of foreign currencies on Tuesday, threatening further disruption to an already ailing economy.

Since the Islamist group seized power in mid-August, the national currency the Afghani has depreciated and the country’s reserves are frozen abroad.

With the economy teetering banks are running short of cash and the international community has so far refused to recognise the new government.

Meanwhile, many transactions inside the country are conducted in US dollars, and in areas close to southern border trade routes Pakistani rupees are used.

But, in a press statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid declared that from now on anyone using foreign currency for domestic business would be prosecuted.

“The economic situation and national interests in the country require that all Afghans use the Afghani currency in every transaction,” he said.

“The Islamic Emirate instructs all citizens, shopkeepers, traders, businessmen and the general public to henceforth conduct all transactions in Afghanis and strictly refrain from using foreign currency.”—AFP