2 foreign helicopters drop off IS militants in Nangarhar: MP
KABUL (Pajhwok): A lawmaker on Tuesday claimed two foreign helicopters recently dropped off Islamic State fighters in Surkhrod district of eastern Nangarhar province, but the ground forces commander said he could not confirm or deny the claim.
Juma Din Gayanwal, a member of the Senate or Meshrano Jirga from southeastern Paktia province, asked the upper house to investigate reports that foreign helicopters had transferred some IS insurgents to Surkhrod district.
The lawmaker said the Russian president was right that IS militants were expanding their network in Afghanistan and the Afghan government needed to prevent their growth.
The Senate’s Deputy Chairman, Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, said if the lawmaker’s claim was true, it would be a matter of huge concern for the Afghan government and the Afghan people. He said foreign supporters of the group should be identified.
He tasked the house security commission to investigate the issue and inform the house about its investigations.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Murad Ali Murad, the ground forces commander, told reporters there were no reports to confirm IS militants had been transferred to Surkhrod district in helicopters. He, however, said such claims could not be rejected because the IS and the Haqqani Network had foreign backing.
Reports say IS militants have a presence in Achin, Chaperhar, Pachir Agam, Kot and Dih Bala districts of Nangarhar and a radio station named “Caliphate Radio” has recently started airing the group’s propaganda.
Nangarhar Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi said they had received reports about the landing of a helicopter that brought militants to Surkhrod district. he said provincial officials had a meeting with security officials and discussed with them the issue.
He said residents of the district had claimed the helicopter landed in the district, but there were no eyewitnesses to confirm it.
Noorullah, a resident of the district, said: “There are rumours that two days back a helicopter landed near Hijrat village and dropped off some militants belonging to IS.”
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