A senior Afghan army general has told Al Jazeera that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has been active in Afghanistan.
A Ministry of Interior source also confirmed ISIL’s existence in the country.
On Sunday, Lieutenant-General Murad Ali Murad, commander of Afghan army’s ground forces, told Al Jazeera that “elements under the ISIL flag” have been trying recruit fighters in Afghanistan.
“There have been similar reports on the issue, but they were never confirmed by any high-level official,” Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said.
“Taliban said that all Mujahideen [self-declared holy warriors] fight under one flag, rejecting the claims.”
She said Murad made clear that Afghan army could handle any kind of enemy, regardless of their affiliation.
ISIL seized large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq last summer. It also announced the establishment of a “caliphate” straddling the two countries.
Many fighters have been reported to join the group from various parts of the world.
A US-led international coalition battling ISIL has been conducting air strikes against the group in Syria and Iraq, while Kurdish peshmerga, central Iraqi forces and Sunni tribesmen have been fighting against ISIL fighters on the ground.