Weeks after the Afghan government claimed victory over ISIL-linked fighters in the country’s east, local residents have described living in fear for almost a year under the rule of the armed group.

In early March, President Ashraf Ghani said Afghanistan would be a “graveyard” for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), as he announced that Afghan forces had dislodged fighters loyal to the group from regions of Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan.

According to officials and local residents, Afghan soldiers and local villagers teamed up to push the fighters back 8km and recapture 22 villages.

The ISIL loyalists had held some remote districts in the country’s east for almost a year.