Islamister dræber islamister

The Afghan Taliban say they have unleashed “special forces” in an increasingly bloody battle with fighters from the rival, so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

The Taliban’s dominance and monopoly on insurgency in a region home to numerous local and foreign militant groups is being challenged by IS, which has been gaining some support. Who’s winning the war of the militants?

Nangarhar, Helmand, Farah and Zabul provinces have seen most of the fighting, with hundreds of insurgents from both sides killed. Exact figures are not available but Taliban special ops units are thought to have killed dozens of IS fighters since October.

For their part, IS has also killed dozens of Taliban, mainly in Nangarhar. They seek out Taliban whenever they can and have ambushed them many times. IS beheaded 10 Taliban fighters earlier this year in Nangarhar.

IS is also focusing on northern Afghanistan where it wants to establish pockets to link up with other Uzbek, Tajik, Chechen and Uighur militants and cross international borders with ease.

IS has been vocally opposed, with statements and propaganda videos questioning the legitimacy of the Taliban and accusing them of promoting the interests of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency.

Mere på BBC

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