Taliban launch operation against IS in southern Afghanistan

·2-min read
A Taliban fighter stands next to the bodies of two civilians killed in crossfire during an operation against the Islamic State group in Kandahar (AFP/Javed TANVEER)

The Taliban said Monday at least four Islamic State operatives and two civilians were killed in a crackdown on the group's hideouts in southern Afghanistan after a recent increase in bloody attacks.

The operation against Islamic State-Khorasan -- the local chapter of the jihadist group -- started around midnight in at least four districts of Kandahar province and continued through Monday morning, Taliban provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Mohammadi told AFP.

"So far, four Daesh (IS) fighters have been killed and ten arrested... one of them blew himself up inside a house," he said.

A Taliban official later tweeted that three IS operatives were killed and two civilians "martyred" in the operation.

There was no explanation for the disparity.

Local media quoted a Taliban official as saying there had also been a blast in a western suburb of Kabul Monday morning with no casualties.

In the three months since the Taliban came to power, IS-K has been active in Jalalabad, Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul.

Last month the group claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a Shiite mosque in Kandahar that killed at least 60 people and injured scores more.

That attack came a week after another deadly mosque blast claimed by IS-K in northern Kunduz province killed over 60 people.

The group on Sunday claimed responsibility for a bomb that destroyed a minibus in Kabul at the weekend killing a well-known local journalist and up to two others.

IS-K boasted it had killed or injured "20 Shiite apostates" in the incident.

Earlier this month IS-K fighters raided the city's National Military Hospital, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 50 others.

The group has also claimed several attacks in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province and a hotbed of IS-K activity.


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