Signs of Islamic State’s emergence seen in Baghlan
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Islamic State (IS) -- also known as Daesh -- members have recently launched activities in the Barka district of northern Baghlan province, public representatives and residents said on Saturday.
If not stopped in their tracks, the Daesh-affiliated gunmen could create security problems in the district. The militantsare busy recruiting new members, who are replacing Taliban in the Tangi Murch area of the district.
Baghlan Provincial Council Chairman Mohammad Safdar Mohseni said IS had been trying to find a foothold in Tangi Murch area, where they were conducting a recruitment campaign.
Mohseni told Pajhwok Afghan News the government must take the emergence of Daesh seriously in Baghlan and eliminate group before it struck root in the area. “If security forces don’t act in time, we may face unwanted consequences.”
A resident of Tangi Murch, seeking anonymity, confirmed gunmen had been travelling through the area in cars with black flags for the past one month. He said the gunmen were encouraging people to join their campaign against the government.
Recently some 12 families of Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel have left the area for the district centre due to the presence of IS militants, the resident added.
“Some of these gunmen speak Arabic,” the man said, claiming Daesh rebels were currently active in Tangi Murch and Taliban in Hazar Qaq and Flool neighbourhoods.
A provincial council member, Firozuddin Emaq, said some people had informed him about elements carrying Daesh flags in the area.“We have told security organs about the emergence of IS militants, but they haven’t taken any action so far.”
But Baghlan police chief, Col. Abdur Rashid Bashir, denied receiving any credible information about the presence of Daesh rebels in the area.“We plan to conduct operations against all rebel groups in the near future,” he said.
Locals say the Taliban and IS have not yet clashed, fearing civilians would bear the brunt of any firefight between the groups that often trade fire in other provinces.
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