50 killed as Taliban-IS clashes continue in Zabul
QALAT (Pajhwok): Local officials on Sunday said 50 militants were killed and several others wounded during a clash between Taliban and Islamic State (IS) or Daesh fighters in southern Zabul province.
Elsewhere, another 12 Daesh members were killed during an operation by Afghan forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
In Zabul, the fight between supporters of Taliban’s leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and dissent Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah Mansoor, also backed by Uzbek Daesh fighters, broke out two days ago in Arghandab district.
Zabul police chief Col. Ghulam Jilani Farahi told Pajhwok Afghan News the ongoing fight had spread to Khak-i-Afghan and Dai Chopan districts.
“Based on our information, 48 members of Dadullah group and Daesh, and eight of Mansoor have been killed during the fight,” he said. Another 30 militants from both sides have been wounded, he said.
Arghandab district chief Haji Mahmand Nasratyar confirmed the clashes were ongoing and said tens of militants from both the sides had suffered casualties. He said eight civilians, including four women who were taken hostage by IS members, had also been killed during the clashes.
Zainullah, a resident of the area, said a senior Taliban commander Pir Agha was among the dead. He claimed seeing 19 Taliban militants in wounded condition and 35 IS members captured by Taliban.
In Nangarhar, a dozen IS fighters were killed in Achin district. The district chief, Haji Ghalib Mujahid, said an operation launched few days ago against IS fighters was still ongoing.
He said 12 Daesh fighters were killed and two others wounded in Shadali, Tangi, Abdul Khail and Peshay areas of the district on Saturday.
Nangarhar police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal said that security forces had built new posts in areas retaken from IS fighters. He said most parts of Achin district had been cleared of rebels and Afghan forces were advancing.
Local officials had previous said that hundreds of IS fighters suffered casualties during air and ground operations.
The Achin district chief said most of the rebels were Pakistanis who had sneaked into the town from across the Durand Line, but some of them had returned back to their areas after they were defeated.
The two rival militant outfits have so far said nothing about the latest incidents.
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