Taliban Claims to Destroy More IS-K Hideouts in Balkh & Nimroz Provinces Without Confirmation of Independent Sources


The latest: Local Taliban officials in Balkh and Nimroz provinces of Afghanistan announced that the group had launched attacks against the Islamic State – Khorasan (IS-K) hideouts on Monday evening.


Go deeper:

  • In Balkh, Mohammad Asif Waziri, a spokesman for the Taliban’s security command for Balkh, said that the attack began at 9 pm on Monday night in Nahr-e-Shahi district and continued for about an hour.
  • Mersad, a media outlet leaning towards the Taliban, reported that this operation was carried out in Street 13 of the Engineer Mehdi area.
  • According to him, the Taliban killed at least six members of IS-K group. He claimed that there were no casualties among Taliban fighters.
  • Some residents, who witnessed the clashes between the two groups, claimed that the gun fight began after gunmen attacked the Taliban’s security checkpoint. They added that light and heavy weapons had been used during the operation.
  • Apart from this, sources close to the Taliban claimed that the group had attacked an Islamic State – Khorasan (IS-K) hideout in Zaranj city, Nimroz province, too
  • According to witnesses, gunmen had moved into local homes and alleyways during the operation.
  • The Taliban fighters had then asked local residents to leave their homes.
  • No details have been available about the casualties.


Between the lines: In both cases, there has not been any independent source to confirm the Taliban’s accounts of the operations.

  • Independent sources have only confirmed explosions and gun fire had been heard in Zaranj city, but it is not clear who the Taliban forces targeted in the operations.
  • Due to severe restrictions imposed on independent media and journalists by the Taliban, it is not easy to confirm or deny the group’s claims, particularly when they wage operations against targets across the country. The group pressurises the media outlets that present different accounts than the Taliban’s narrative on incidents in Afghanistan.


Why it matters? The regional affiliate of the Islamic State group has increased attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021. IS has targeted Taliban officials and patrols, as well as members of the country’s minority Shiites.

  • The Islamic State group has also claimed other recent attacks in Kabul, including a bombing near a checkpoint at the city’s military airport that killed and wounded several people and also an assault on a Kabul hotel in mid-December.
  • The Taliban administration has said it is focused on securing the country and that it has carried out several raids against suspected ISIS members in recent weeks.
  • On March 26, the Taliban intelligence directorate said on its Twitter account that ISIS men were killed in the 5th, 8th and 10th districts of Balkh province following the launch of Taliban operations. According to the Taliban, Mawlawi Ziauddin, ISIS’s second in command; Abu Omar Afridi, a member of the Khorasan branch, and Ustad Salman Tajikistani, an ISIS military trainer and specialist, have been killed in the Taliban operations.
  • Earlier too, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reported an attack on three ISIS hideouts in Mazar-e-Sharif on March 18.
  • Despite the increase in Taliban attacks on ISIS in Afghanistan, the group is trying to undermine ISIS’s presence in Afghanistan. After the CENTCOM commander’s remarks in the US House of Representatives about the growing threat of Daesh in Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman accused the US of “magnifying” the danger posed by Daesh in Afghanistan.


Zoom out: This comes even as an official pro-Taliban media outlet in Afghanistan has released an alleged audio clip of the leader of the local affiliate of Islamic State in which the man acknowledges his group’s significant recent losses.

  • “Only a few of our comrades are left, and their number can be counted on the fingers,” Shahab al-Muhajir, the so-called emir of IS-Khorasan, said in Pashto language in a message to his group.
  • The militant commander also spoke about the killings of key leaders in recent Taliban counterterrorism operations against IS-Khorasan hideouts in the capital of Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan.
  • The al-Mersaad state-affiliated channel, which released the audio, is working to counter IS-Khorasan terrorist propaganda, according to Taliban officials.
  • There has been no comment from IS-Khorasan on the alleged audio clip attributed to its leader.
  • Taliban security sources claimed that the audio clip is that of al-Muhajir, whose real name is Sanaullah Ghafari, and said that he is a resident of Kabul.
  • Al-Muhajir had named a slain IS-K commander, Mualawi Muhammad, also known as Mualawi Ziauddin, in the audio and declared his death “a heavy loss” for the group. The Taliban killed Ziauddin in an operation in the northern Afghan province of Balkh on March 26.
+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Latest Stories