Afghan security officials announced Sunday that for the first time, the newly emerged militant group known as Daesh launched an attack on Afghan security forces in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province.
Clashes between Daesh fighters and Afghan security forces continued for several hours which resulted in the death of three Afghan soldiers including 40 militants affiliated to Daesh.
A security source on condition of anonymity said that the U.S forces provided air support to their Afghan counterparts during the armed encounter.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) has announced that Daesh operates outside of Afghanistan’s border and inside Pakistan.
“Severe response was given to Daesh group, nearly 35 Daesh militants were killed as a result of our operations, security forces are now deployed in the area and planning fresh operations,” interior ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi said.
Daesh is known because of its brutality. The atrocities inflicted by the militant group has pushed a number of religious scholars to declare Jihad (holy war) against the group.
“I swear upon Allah (God) that the Pakistani army is fighting us in the warfront with fake beards,” a religious scholar, Mohammad Younus Shamakhail said.
“There are no bigger hypocrites and pretenders than Daesh on earth, war against Daesh is an obligation,” another scholar Abdul Zahir Haqqani said.
According to local officials, Daesh has beheaded several civilians and bunrt several houses sicne the group started activities in Achin district.
“They (Daesh) burn our homes and gardens and cast an evil eye to our mothers and sisters, we want the government to eliminate them,” MP Zahir Qadir said.
However, the Afghan security forces are determined to confront Daesh in the battle field with full force.
“Those who infiltrated from Waziristan have joined Daesh including foreigners and intelligence services in the region, they operate in Teera area of Pakistan,” Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
This comes a day after the UN report revealed that Daesh seeks to take control of the war from Taliban in Afghanistan, an issue which has also provoked Washington’s concerns on the increasing influence of the militant group.
“The Taliban including the Haqqani network continue to perpetrate and rages acts of violence against innocent civilians. Afghan security forces and US personnel in addition to other targets of opportunity, while al-Qaeda remains a threat in the presence of Daesh ISIL has brought a new and unpredicted element of risk in this already volatile environment, the United States I want to make it clear that it strongly support president Ghani and CEO Abdullah in their call for reconciliation talk with the Taliban,” Kerry said.
As rumors on the increasing influence of Daesh gathers momentum, Afghan officials in Kabul stress the need for a joint regional and international campaign to eliminate the group in Afghanistan.
Many believe that continued activities of Daesh in Afghanistan could escalate and have damaging consequences for Afghanistan and the region unless the world takes solid action against the group.