ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombings that killed or injured more than 35 Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend, Fox News reported Monday.
ISIS-K on September 19 “claimed responsibility for six explosions caused by improvised explosive devices (IED)” on September 18 and 19 in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar Province, according to Fox News.
“More than 35 Taliban militia members were killed or wounded, in a series of explosions that took place,” Amaaq News Agency, the official ISIS propaganda outlet, wrote in a statement posted to its Telegram channel on September 19.
Local residents reported hearing additional explosions in Jalalabad on September 20, according to the Associated Press (AP), which said it received “unconfirmed reports of additional Taliban casualties” from Monday’s alleged blasts.
ISIS-K is the English initialism for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan. The jihadist group is an Afghan affiliate of ISIS, which is itself an international terror organization. Despite sharing Sunni Islam-based beliefs with ISIS, Afghanistan’s Taliban remains a “sworn enemy” of the Islamic State, according to the AP.
“The affiliate has increasingly drawn hard-line Taliban defectors and foreign militants disillusioned with what they see as the Taliban’s overly moderate ways,” the U.S.-based news agency noted on September 20.
ISIS-K is allegedly responsible for some of Afghanistan’s “most brutal attacks in recent years on schools, mosques and even a maternity hospital, mainly targeting the Shiite Muslim minority,” according to the AP.
ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the August 26 bombing of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s national capital, Kabul, which killed at least 182 people, including 169 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. military personnel.
The Taliban has vowed on multiple occasions not to allow Afghanistan to be used as a base by foreign forces for terror attacks. The group, which seized control of Afghanistan by deposing Kabul’s U.S.-backed government on August 15, told China directly in late July it would prevent Afghanistan from becoming a terrorist launching pad.
“The Afghan Taliban will never allow any force to use the Afghan territory to engage in acts detrimental to China,” Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political commission, told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin, China, on July 28.
“We will not allow anyone or any groups to use our soil against any other countries,” Amir Khan Mutaqi, the Taliban’s then-newly named foreign minister, told reporters at a press conference in Kabul on September 14.