While the Taliban may have wrested control of Afghanistan from the national government, the fighting and killing continue. Taliban forces raided an ISIS-K cell in Kabul and killed several of the terrorists, according to a Taliban spokesman.
The raid followed a deadly bombing at a Kabul mosque earlier on Sunday that killed five civilians. The Taliban claimed that the bombing was conducted by Islamic State terrorists. The Taliban and ISIS are enemies.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Monday that Taliban forces raided an ISIS-K operations center in the northern Kabul neighborhood of Khair Khana. However, the statement did not say how many ISIS terrorists were killed or whether the Taliban suffered any casualties in the operation.
This was the second operation that the Taliban have recently conducted against Islamic State jihadists.
On Friday, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told The Associated Press that Taliban fighters raided a hideout of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) in the city of Charikar in Parwan province, north of the Afghan capital. In that operation, the Taliban killed and arrested an unspecified number of terrorists.
The earlier operation came on the heels of another roadside bombing that wounded four Taliban fighters in the region.
The Deadliest Attack Since August
In Sunday’s bombing, five civilians were killed at a mosque in the deadliest attack since the United States withdrew its forces in August.
Mourners were gathering at the gate of the sprawling Eid Gah Mosque in Kabul for a memorial service that was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. All of the dead and injured were civilians, according to spokesman Bilal Karimi, who added that three suspects have been arrested.
A nearby Italian-funded hospital reported to the AP that four wounded civilians were transported there and were being treated. The Taliban quickly cordoned off the area and cleaned up any evidence of the bombing. A few hours later, only the damage to the arch at the entrance of the mosque indicated that an attack had taken place.
Taliban fighters were also quickly posted to the entrances of emergency rooms and hospitals.
ISIS-K and the Taliban have been fighting for quite some time. In 2020, following the heavy airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition which took a toll on the terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province, the ISIS affiliate re-emerged stronger.
Since the Taliban takeover in August, ISIS-K fighters have been conducting attacks on Taliban forces.
ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the bombing in Kabul that killed more than 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. military personnel outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in August. The attack happened as thousands of Afghans were trying to escape Taliban rule and evacuate on coalition aircraft.
The ISIS affiliate was also behind the gruesome attack in 2020 on a maternity hospital that killed 24 people, including newborn babies.
Earlier this year, the group also claimed responsibility for another bloody attack on a school in Afghanistan’s mostly Shiite neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi. That attack killed more than 80 students.
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