Daesh rebels sneak into Nangarhar from Orakzai: Nicholson
A significant proportionof fighters with the group came from Pakistan's Orakzai agencyover the border from Nangarharand are former members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, he alleged.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Gen. John Nicholson said: "We see them frankly as almost interchangeable at this point.”
Last month, US forces killed TTP leaderKhalifa Umar Mansoor, the alleged masterminded behind a 2014 attack on a school in Peshawar, in which 150 peoplewere killed.
Also in charge of NATO troops, the general called the strike a demonstration of America’s commitment against the terrorists -- no matter where they committed their atrocities on either side of the border.
Nicholson said that he had discussed IS fighters’ presence in Pakistanwith Gen. Raheel Sharif,who promised joining the US and Afghanistan in the campaign against the insurgent group.
The IS presence in Afghanistan was directly tied to the parent organisation in Iraq and Syria,he claimed, saying the group’s loyalists had financialand strategic connections with their leadership based in the Gulf countries.
He went on to remark: "This franchise of Daesh is connected to the parent organisation. They have applied for membership, they have been accepted, they had to meet certain tests…''
The number of districts in eastern Nangarhar province, with a significant presence of Daesh insurgents, had been reduced from 10 to three, the commander said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.