Some 3,500 Daesh fighters in Afghanistan: Russian diplomat
KABUL (Pajhwok): Approximately 3,500 Islamic State fighters operate in Afghanistan and the group is recruiting members from local groups and the youth, Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan Igor Lyakin-Frolov says.
“They’ve met their tasks, according to some information, there are approximately 3,500 militants currently in the ranks of the Islamic State in Afghanistan,” Lyakin-Frolov told RIA Novosti in an interview. He said that the Islamic State has already settled in 25 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
The Afghan government acknowledges the Islamic State group has recently launched its activities in some areas, but rejects as exaggerated the number of fighters aligned to the group as claimed by others.
Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar a few days ago said the Afghan security forces had defeated the Islamic State or Daesh grou in southern Helmand and western Farah provinces and operations against the outfit were underway in eastern Nangarhar province.
Local officials in Nangarhar say armed militants who had sneaked into Nangarhar from Pakistan’s Orakzai and Khyber tribal regions have been operating in the province under the banner of Islamic State. The group has established centres in Nangarhar’s Achin, Kot, Batikot and Shinwari districts.
The Achin district chief, Haji Ghalib, had recently told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Afghan security forces had broken the back of the group in the town as a result of effective operations. He had said the group suffered heavy casualties during the security operations over the past three months. He also said after their defeat, the fighters had shifted back their families to Orakzai agency across the Durand Line.
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