The Taliban can fight ISIS-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) on its own without support from the US, Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the group and Deputy Minister of Information and Culture in its Interim Government, told TOLO News on October 10.
Mujahid said that the Taliban is already conducting operations against ISIS-K cells in Afghanistan. According to the spokesman’s claims, 19 ISIS terrorists have been killed and 16 others have been wounded, so far.
“Daesh [ISIS] is a headache, not a serious threat and it will be curbed. Most Daesh members have been suppressed, their important hideouts have been discovered and we are after them.” Mujahid said, downplaying the threat posed by the terrorist group.
The TOLO News has documented 17 explosions in five Afghan provinces since the Taliban took over the country on August 15. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for most of these attacks. Some 600 people, including fighters of the Taliban, were killed or wounded.
One of ISIS-K most recent attacks targeted a crowded Shiite mosque in the in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on October 8. The attack, which was carried out a suicide bomber, claimed the lives of more than 50 people and wounded more than 140 others.
Mujahid himself survived an attack by an ISIS-K suicide bomber that targeted his mother’s funeral in the capital, Kabul, on October 3. Several people were killed in the attack.
The Taliban is playingdown the threat posed by ISIS-K in order to promote itself as a legitimate force that is capable of securing Afghanistan on its own.
Nevertheless, the fact stands that ISIS-K remains the single most serious challenge facing the Taliban’s new regime in Afghanistan. The terrorist group is not only targeting Taliban fighters, but also recruiting them.
Despite its repeated statements against the US, it wont be a surprise if the Taliban ended up receiving support from it against ISIS-K.
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