KABUL: (Web Desk) Afghan security forces have killed at least a dozen militants affiliated with the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group operating in the country’s troubled east. Police sources said at least 12 terrorists had been killed during security operations conducted with air power support in eastern Nangarhar Province on Saturday. No further details have been released regarding the report so far.
The operations are underway since a month ago in response to the growing threats posed by the Takfiri group and its affiliates in the eastern province. Daesh has expanded its activities in nearly a dozen Afghan provinces, particularly Nangarhar, despite the presence of thousands of foreign boots on the ground in the war-torn country. The terrorist group, mainly active in Syria and Iraq, has been using a sophisticated social media campaign to woo the local militants, who defect from the main Taliban group.
The rise of Daesh in Afghanistan has raised concerns in a country already torn apart by decades of Taliban-led militancy and the 2001 invasion of the US and its allies. Although Taliban leaders have warned Daesh against “waging a parallel insurgency in Afghanistan,” the latter has been trying to expand its outreach there and is reported to have between 1,000 to 3,000 terrorists on its payroll.
In an exclusive interview with the US-based Fox News network published earlier this month, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai held the United States accountable for the rise of Daesh in his homeland, saying Washington was in cahoots with the notorious terrorist group it had created. “Daesh is a US product,” Karzai said. “Daesh — which is clearly foreign — emerged in 2015 during the US presence.”
The US currently maintains nearly 8,400 soldiers in Afghanistan with nearly 5,000 more troops from NATO allies. Washington and its allies first invaded the country nearly 16 years ago as part of the so-called war on terror. The invasion removed Taliban from power, but militancy continues to this day. Reports say the US and NATO are seeking to build up their military presence in the war-torn country again.