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Islamic State Attack on Taliban Kills 20

National

AfghanistanFlag | Image by Tatohra/Shutterstock

On Monday, the Islamic State (IS) stated on Telegram that it was behind an attack on Taliban soldiers in Kabul the previous day.

The extremist organization claimed that it killed 20 individuals and injured 30 others. While Abdul Nafi Takour, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Taliban-run interior ministry, did confirm that an explosion occurred outside Kabul’s military airfield on Sunday, he refuted the numbers claimed by IS.

The official death toll according to the Afghan authorities has yet to be released.

Since August 2021, when the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, a local affiliate of IS located in the province of Khorasan has claimed responsibility for various attacks on the group, as well as on religious and racial minorities.

The terrorist group was reportedly behind two high-profile events targeting foreigners in Kabul in December.

One involved a shooting at Pakistan’s embassy, which Islamabad said was an attempt to kill its ambassador, who got away unharmed, according to Reuters. Nonetheless, a guard was injured and the structure was damaged.

Another saw Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) members taking over the Longan Hotel, which is owned by Chinese national Yu Minghui and was frequented by Chinese businesspeople. Five were severely wounded in the armed attack.

Just last week Al-Amaq, a news outlet used to diffuse pro-IS propaganda, claimed that ISKP killed a top Taliban police official, Abdul Haq Abu Omar, on December 26 in the province of Badakhshan. A car loaded with explosives was positioned on the road Omar would take to work.

According to the Taliban’s Abdul Nafi Takor, two more individuals were killed and two others were injured in the bombing. Four people were reportedly arrested in connection with the event.

Beyond Afghanistan’s borders, a suspect arrested by Israeli authorities for twin bombings in Jerusalem last month that targeted commuters and killed two people identified himself as part of the IS terrorist organization.

Despite this, a recent report by the UN Security Council claimed that international attacks by either IS or al-Qaida were expected to be impossible by 2023.

The report did note that alongside the IS attacks, the Taliban has also been plagued with those by various insurgent groups, such as the National Resistance Front and the newly established Afghan Freedom Front.

“Since taking power … there have been many factors creating internal tensions within the [Taliban] movement, leading to perceptions that the Taliban’s governance has been chaotic, disjointed and prone to reversing policies and going back on promises,” the report said.

A discussion about Afghanistan is expected at the next meeting of the UN Security Council in June.

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