“Al Baghdadi has said that Mullah Omar does not deserve a spiritual or political credibility,” wrote Khaama Press. “While on the other hand Taliban fighters have been ordered by their leaders not to let the Islamic State flag raise in Afghanistan.”
Nabi Jan Mullahkhil, police chief in Helmand province in Afghanistan, which is a Taliban throttlehold near the country’s border with Pakistan, reportedly told Mashaal Radio that he has obtained documents that prove both terrorist groups have confirmed jihad against each other. The declaration came soon after both groups denied involvement in the suicide bombing that took place in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, mid April.
Maulvi Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, spokesperson for Islamic State in Afghanistan and the group’s self-proclaimed leader in the country, told the media that Islamic State was not involved in the deadly suicide bombing. In addition, intelligence reports from the United States suggest that the Taliban was most likely responsible for the same. Yet, the Taliban denied responsibility for the attack that killed at least 35 people and injured more than 100.
“We have not yet seen evidence of Islamic State direction or support of the attacks. Jalalabad continues to be an area with significant Taliban influence and this attack fits the pattern of past Taliban attacks in the region—underscoring that this attack does not represent a fundamental change in the security environment,” Army Lieutenant Colonel Chris Belcher, spokesperson for NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, told the media. “Along with our partners in the Afghan security forces, we are looking closely to determine any connection with ISIS.”
Muslim Dost, who was once imprisoned at the notorious Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, strongly denounced the attack, saying that Islamic State would never kill civilians or innocent people. He went on to accuse intelligence agencies in Pakistan of tainting Islamic State’s image by spreading rumours about its involvement in the brutal attack.
Nangarhar, where the suicide bombing took place, lies near Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which has been described in the past as a Taliban sanctuary by the Pentagon.
“Islamic State was not behind the deadly blast in Jalalabad, and we condemn such an attack,” Muslim Dost told the media. “This is an act of the Pakistani agencies to damage reputation of the Islamic State.”
According to critics, neither terrorist group wants to take responsibility for the suicide bombing, as it led to the deaths of mostly poor and innocent civilians.
However, Islamic State members have been known to be operating across Afghanistan. Earlier this year, the terrorist group said that it would expand into Khorasan, the historical name for a region that is comprised of modern-day Pakistan, Afghanistan and some parts of neighbouring countries, including India.
Nevertheless, unidentified officials from the United States told the media that there is no proof of large-scale funding or fighters traveling to places like Afghanistan from the Arab world.
Photo Credits: Wikia Open Source