Growing IS, Taliban influence cause for concern: Putin
KABUL (Pajhwok): Russia is seriously concerned about the increasing influence of the Islamic State and Taliban in Afghanistan, President Vladimir Putin said during talks with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
During the meeting, Karzai told the Russian leader that Daesh was posing a serious threat to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region, a statement from the former president's office said.
Putin noted the Taliban had intensified their operations in Afghanistan after NATO ended the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in late 2014 and launched a non-combat campaign focused on training and assistance.
"We are witnessing processes that cause a serious concern…Taliban are actively spreading their influence, controlling a large part of [Afghan] territory, many border crossing points. What is more worrying, however, is the fact that the so-called Islamic State organisation is working more and more actively in Afghanistan, feeling more comfortable there," the president said.
He added the IS was currently present in 25 out of 34 Afghan provinces. The group, which captured large swathes of Syria and Iraq, has recently been making inroads in Afghanistan.
In a letter posted on their website last week, the Taliban warned the Islamic State against recruiting fighters in Afghanistan. In May 2015, clashes between the Afghan Taliban and Islamic State left at least 27 dead.
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