US watchdog says area under Kabul government’s “influence” shrank by nearly 5 percent since beginning of this year.
Fighters have killed at least 30 civilians, including children, after abducting them in the remote Afghan province of Ghor, according to officials and police.
Suspected ISIL fighters killed dozens of civilians on Tuesday in the Firozkoh district in revenge for the death of one of their commanders, a provincial government official told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
“Afghan police killed a Daesh commander in Ghor province during an operation yesterday but Daesh fighters abducted some 30 civilians from near the provincial capital and shot them all dead in revenge,” Abdul Hai Khatibi, a spokesman for the governor, said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, also known as ISIS.
Nasir Khazeh, the Ghor governor, told the AFP news agency that the bodies were found by the locals on Wednesday morning.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
However, Abdul Hai Khatibi, spokesman for Khazeh, told the Associated Press news agency that the fighters behind the attacks and abductions were a renegade Taliban group that swore allegiance last year to Afghanistan’s ISIL group.
Ghor is one of the largest and most isolated provinces in the country. Its mountainous terrain and harsh winters have effectively sheltered it from the worst of the conflict with the Taliban.