SHAFAQNA – The Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group and the Taliban clashed in western Afghanistan, killing about 27 people and injuring about 20, a spokesman for Afghan National Army said Monday.
Both sides lost approximately the same number of fighters, Hanif Razai, spokesman for the Afghan National Army, said as quoted by Khaama Press.
Afghan military spokesman Mohamad Hanif Rezaey specified that 15 ISIS fake jihadists and 12 from the Taliban terrorists were killed in fighting on Sunday afternoon in three areas within Farah province’s Khak-e-Safid district. Among the injured were 13 ISIS members and seven from Taliban ranks.
“Taliban militants captured alive 12 alleged ISIS members, including four women of foreign nationalities, however, their nationalities are still uncertain,” the spokesperson explained, adding that Afghan security forces would not intervene unless civilians become involved.
The militants have been fighting against each other since Sunday, he added.
The ISIL is a Sunni insurgent group in control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. The militants are also gaining a foothold in North Africa and Central Asia, with local groups pledging allegiance.
In late April, an IS-linked group set up a training camp in Afghanistan.
The Taliban, formed in the 1990s, seeks to enforce Sharia law in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group is known for numerous terrorist attacks against authorities and civilians of both countries.
Armed feuds broke out just a few hours after Nato’s mission in Afghanistan warned of the growing IS presence in the country, while the government has been at war with the Taliban for 14 years.
The spokesperson of the Atlantic alliance’s “Resolute Support” mission, Armando Perez, told Efe on Sunday that although the development of the insurgent group was still unstable, “it continues to have aspirations for the entire region” and has been recruiting actively.
In the last two weeks, at least 19 insurgents from both groups have lost their lives in clashes to gain control over several strategic areas in the province of Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan.
At the end of 2014, Nato terminated its International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan to make way for Operation Resolute Support, under which Nato maintains around 4,000 soldiers to train and support Afghan security forces.
Meanwhile, the US has about 11,000 soldiers in Afghanistan under its anti-terrorism combat mandate until at least 2016, as Washington re-evaluates its withdrawal timeframe.
Earlier Abdu Bakar Al-Baghdadi, the fake Khalifa of ISIS has called Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar “a fool and illiterate warlord”.
Al-Baghdadi has said that Mullah Omar does not deserve a spiritual or political credibility. While on the other hand Taliban fighters have been ordered by their leaders not to let Daesh flag raise in Afghanistan.