The latest: At least eight Islamic State terrorists have been killed and nine others have been arrested in a series of raids conducted by Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban in various provinces.
- Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban government, said that the raids in the capital city and western Nimroz province on Wednesday targeted IS militants who organized recent attacks on Kabul’s Longan Hotel, Pakistan’s embassy and the military airport.
- Eight IS fighters, including foreign nationals, were killed and seven others arrested in Kabul, while a separate operation in western Nimroz province resulted in two more IS arrests, Mujahid said.
- “These members had a main role in the attack on the Chinese hotel and paved the way for foreign IS members to come to Afghanistan,” Mujahid said in a tweet.
- Mujahid said light weapons, hand grenades, mines, vests and explosives were confiscated by the Taliban’s security.
- “Today an operation was carried out in the Qalacha and Shuhada-e-Salehin areas of Kabul city against the hideouts of Daesh (IS) members, Seven Daesh members were killed and seven others were captured alive,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid had tweeted. Local residents reported sounds of several explosions and an hours-long gun battle.
- “Similarly, two Daesh members were captured alive in Nimroz province (southeast),” he added.
- He added that several suspicious people were detained for further investigation.
- Apart from this, Muhajid, announced that three members of the ISIS group have been killed in Nangarhar.
- Mujahid said that these ISIS member have been killed in an operation in Shimel area of Dare Noor district of Nangarhar province.
Back story: The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing near a checkpoint at the Afghan capital’s military airport on Sunday. IS said that attack was carried out by the same militant who took part in the Longan Hotel assault in mid-December.
- Last month the terror group also attacked a hotel frequented by Chinese citizens in Kabul, injuring 18 people, while all three attackers were killed.
- On December 2, the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul was attacked by Daesh militants, who targeted Chargé d’Affaires (CdA) to Afghanistan Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani. The diplomat was unharmed, but his guard was critically wounded in the attack.
- The group also claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed two Russian diplomats in September 2022.
Zoom out: The regional affiliate of the Islamic State group — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province and a key rival of the Taliban — has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in 2021. Targets have included Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority. At least 700 Hazaras have been killed in ISKP attacks since the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, noted Human Rights Watch last year.
- The Taliban have intensified their operations against the IS in Afghanistan, after the latter carried out a series of attacks across the country in recent months.
- Taliban security forces have already carried out a similar operation on December 22, 2022, killing three alleged militants of the IS and arresting another.
- Earlier, five other insurgents were killed in a Taliban raid in Kabul in mid-November.