Taliban forces have killed six members of the ISIL armed group (ISIS) in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province during an overnight raid, a Taliban spokesman said on Tuesday.
The raid comes as the Taliban rulers crack down on the regional affiliate of the ISIL group – known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), which has carried out several deadly attacks in recent months killing dozens, including Balkh governor Mohammad Dawood Muzammil last month.
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According to Mohammad Asif Waziri, a spokesman for the police chief in Balkh, the operation late on Monday night targeted an ISIL hideout in Nahri Shahi district. Six members of the armed group were killed, he added.
Muzammil was known for his resistance to ISIL in the area. The group has emerged as the biggest security threat to the Taliban, which took over Afghanistan in August 2021 after US-led foreign forces withdrew after 20 years of war.
A blast in January killed at least five people and injured dozens at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as employees streamed out of the building at the end of their work day.
The ISIL group has also claimed other recent attacks in Kabul, including a bombing near a checkpoint at the city’s military airport that killed and wounded several people and also an assault on a Kabul hotel in mid-December.
ISIL attacks in Afghanistan have often targeted the minority Shia communities, as well as foreigners and foreign interests.