IS Launches 1st Attack on Afghan Gov’t Forces

IS Launches 1st Attack on Afghan Gov’t Forces IS Launches 1st Attack on Afghan Gov’t Forces

IS launched its first attack on the Afghan security forces early Sunday with hundreds of fighters attacking police posts in eastern Nangarhar province, officials said.

IS, which emerged in Afghanistan in 2014 and has grown by imposing itself on the Taliban’s recruiting ground, attacked up to 10 posts in Achin district, around 150 kilometers east of capital Kabul, Anadolu Agency reported.

District chief Haji Ghalib Mujahid said the attacks were launched simultaneously at 3 a.m. local time.

“Our forces managed to repel their attack but the fight is underway,” he said. Several militants have been reported killed and wounded while three Afghan soldiers were killed and eight others injured.

The attacks came just after the UN warned of the growing presence of IS in Afghanistan as a US-led international security force looks to withdraw at the end of 2016.

Nicholas Haysom, UN’s envoy to Afghanistan, warned the group had established a “toehold” in Afghanistan.

IS has fought the Taliban repeatedly over territory in Nangarhar and targeted young men for membership in areas previously under the sway of the Taliban. The new group claims to have overpowered the Taliban in five districts.

  Taliban Attack Kunduz

A coordinated attack by Taliban militants has led to heavy fighting in Kunduz, the capital of Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province. It is the third bid by the Taliban this year to capture territory in the city.

Taliban fighters launched a three-pronged attack on Kunduz city early on Monday morning, triggering fierce clashes between the militants and government forces, police said.

“Kunduz city came under attack from several directions this morning, with Taliban using city streets as launchpads for their operation,” Kunduz provincial police spokesman, Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, said.

He said government troops had repelled the attackers from some areas, but that fighting was still continuing at main entrances to the city, including the wealthy district of Imam Sahib.

He said 20 insurgents had been killed, and that there had also been an unknown number of casualties among security forces.

  Playground Blast Kills 9

At least nine people were killed and over 30 others were injured in a car bomb attack on a playground in eastern Paktika province on Sunday, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

According to Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the ministry, the attack occurred in the province’s Khairokot district.  Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied responsibility for the incident.

Some of the wounded were evacuated to a hospital in Sharana, the provincial capital, while more serious cases were sent to the capital Kabul. Colonel Baz Mohammad, an officer from the Ministry of Defense, said that three helicopters had been sent to the province to evacuate the injured to hospitals in the capital.

In a similar incident in November 2014, at least 45 people were killed and 60 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives during a volleyball match in Yahyakhil district of Paktika province.