ISIS Claims Responsibility for Car Bombing Which Killed Taliban’s Police Chief of Badakhshan

The latest: The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (IS-K) has claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed a local Taliban police chief in Afghanistan. Abdulhaq Abu Omar, the Taliban’s police chief of Badakhshan province, died on Monday morning when a car bomb exploded near his headquarters in in Faizabad, the capital of the province.

Go deeper:

  • Omar is believed to be the highest Taliban security official slain since the hard-line Islamist group seized power in August 2021.
  • The Taliban’s Interior Ministry spokesperson Abdul Nafi Takor said that two others had been killed in the blast and two people had been wounded.
  • All those killed and injured are Taliban’s military officers, the source added.
  • He added that four suspects had also been arrested in connection with the incident.
  • In a brief statement late on Monday, IS-K said that it parked an explosive-laden car on the road used by the Taliban’s police chief on his way to work and detonated it when he was close by.
  • “Caliphate fighters have managed to park a car bomb and detonate it against a police commander of the Taliban militias while he was on his way to his office in the city of Fayzabad, in Badakhshan,” ISIS said via Telegram.
  • According to a statement released by the IS mouthpiece Amaq, militants had closely monitored Omar’s movements before carrying out the attack.

Zoom out: The IS regional affiliate — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province — has increased its attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. The violence has killed hundreds of people, including Afghan minority Shiite community members and prominent pro-Taliban clerics, in recent months.

  • Earlier this month, the militant group claimed responsibility for a coordinated attack on a Chinese-owned hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which left three assailants dead and at least two guests injured as they tried to escape by jumping out of a window.
  • The attack on the hotel in Kabul appeared to be one of the most recent in a spate of violent incidents committed against the few nations that the Taliban counts as its allies— Pakistan, Russia, China, and Iran. Earlier in December, extremists attacked the Pakistani ambassador at his embassy compound in Kabul, leaving a Pakistani guard gruesomely injured.
  • Similarly, in September, two Russian diplomats were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Russian Embassy in central Kabul, an incident that could apparently be the first attack on a foreign diplomatic post in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the nation.
  • The attacks against the Taliban’s supporters reflect an increasing threat to Kabul since it would indicate that the regime is unable to maintain peace and security in the country. Stability and security are vital not only for Kabul itself but also for its neighbours.
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