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Foreign militants fighting in Taliban ranks: Paktia governor

Foreign militants fighting in Taliban ranks: Paktia governor

Apr 13, 2019 - 18:26

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Foreign militants have been fighting alongside their Afghan comrades against government forces in Afghanistaninfo-icon, the governor of southeastern Paktia province says.

Shamim Khan Katawazai told reporters in Gardez, the provincial capital, that with the return of Afghan Talibaninfo-icon from Pakistaninfo-icon after change in weather, the number of foreign fighters in their ranks has also increased.

About the killing of a Pakistani Taliban fighter, the governor said intelligence and telecom intercepts showed these fighters were Arab and Punjabi militants. He claimed the foreign fighters included those who had links with Al Qaeda, something that contradicted the Afghan Taliban’s claim that they had severed ties with Al Qaeda.

Katawazai said foreign fighters directly took part in clashes alongside their local hosts and there was evidence about their presence in form of a dead body of one of them. The foreign fighter was killed along with several others during a clash with security forces in Zazi Aryub district on Friday, the governor said.

He said like Paktia the Taliban had waged attacks in other provinces but the Afghan forces due to their prior measures had the upper hand.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the presence of foreign fighters in their ranks. He also rejected their fighters had suffered casualties in Zazi Aryub district.



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