November 30, 2021

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Afghanistan: ISIS “under control” after 600 arrests, says Taliban

The Islamic State, a jihadist group that has recently carried out several bloody attacks in Afghanistan, assured the Taliban government on Wednesday that it was “more or less under control” and “no major threat,” citing the arrest of 600 of its members or supporters. Suspicion since August.

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Taliban spokesman Jabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in Kabul that the ISIS branch (IS-K) in Afghanistan was “more or less under our control” and “no major threat.”

In recent months, “nearly 600 members of the group have been arrested,” he added, praising it as “a great achievement”.

“They don’t have much in Afghanistan because they don’t have the support of the people,” he said. Mujahid continued, saying the new government’s forces were continuing their hunt.

He said a handful of women arrested across the country since the Taliban returned to power in mid-August would be interrogated by “women”.

He felt that, unlike its counterpart in the Middle East, IS-K was largely made up of local militants and that its presence in Afghanistan posed no threat to other countries.

IS-K, born in 2014, mainly in eastern Afghanistan, has been responsible for a wave of recent attacks in several major cities across the country, posing as the Taliban’s main rival since they returned to power. A Sunni Islamist group, like the Taliban, is more aggressive and supports “global jihad.”

Its attacks come as the Taliban want to see their government recognized by the international community and receive financial assistance, in return for which they expect to eliminate the domestic terrorist threat and prevent it from spreading abroad.

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Mujahid recalled that we had assured other countries, including the United States, that we would not use Afghan soil against anyone.

A recent IS-K attack in early November at the Kabul National Military Hospital killed at least 19 people and wounded 50 others.

Unlike the Taliban, IS-K openly targets the Shia minority, which is considered “sectarian” – especially the Hazaras, who targeted the fall with two suicide attacks against mosques in Kandahar (south, 60 killed) and Kunduz (in the north). 62 died and about 200 were injured).

The Islamic State-Coalition (IS-K), which initially pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the short-lived ISIS “caliphate” leader in Iraq and Syria, has regained strength in Afghanistan in recent months. Almost eliminated by the end of 2019.

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