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Islamic State, JeM, LeT fighters have entered Afghan capital: sources

Taliban fighters poses for a photograph while raising their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor's house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

A large number of fighters belonging to the Islamic State (IS), Jaish e-Mohammed(JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have entered Afghan capital Kabul in the last few days, sources on the ground have informed. The Taliban leadership is aware of the presence of these foreign terrorists, who entered the city carrying the Taliban flag. It is understood that the groups are operating in different parts of the Kabul city and are not under the control of the Taliban.

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Under the agreement with the United States, the Taliban are committed to prevent terrorist groups from operating in Afghanistan and are expected to evict these groups from Kabul in the next few days. An Afghan human rights worker who works closely with the Taliban political office in Doha said that the next few days are going to be critical as the groups may indulge in operations on their own in violation of the orders of the Taliban leadership.

Taliban leaders are trying to mobilise themselves to prevent the foreign fighters from finding a base in Kabul and some developments in that direction took place late on Monday with the arrival of Mullah Yaqub, son of the late Mullah Omar, founder of the Taliban.

Yaqub arrived from Quetta, where the Taliban leaders have been based for decades. He is the ‘Chief of Operations’ of the Taliban forces, and it is expected that he will soon begin firming up Taliban’s rule over Kabul. There are concerns about possible clashes that may take place between these terror groups and the Taliban if the latter try to dislodge them militarily.

“Irrespective of the threats, the Taliban have asked them to leave Afghanistan and they will have to obey the orders,” said the human rights worker over phone from a location in Afghanistan.

The Taliban have already engaged former President Hamid Karzai, Tajik leader and former CEO of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah and Hezb-e-Islami chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar seeking support in forming the next government of Afghanistan. The transition can begin once the political leadership arrives from Qatar. As of now, it appears that the arrival of the political team has been delayed because of the chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport, which remains under the control of the U.S. government.

Ensuring security of Kabul will be a major challenge for the Taliban in the first phase of their government. The international community will be keenly watching the Taliban’s commitment to ensure Afghanistan remains free of terror elements such as IS or Daesh, JeM and LeT. Sources informed that in the absence of effective police forces on the ground, there is a high probability of violence by these terror outfits that may also secure enclaves in Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan.


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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 2:13:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/islamic-state-jem-let-fighters-have-entered-afghanistan-sources/article35951834.ece

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