IS went underground in Afghanistan, with fewer than 10,000 fighters — official

KABUL (TCA) — The militants of the Islamic State terrorist group have gone underground in Afghanistan, with the size of the organization’s sleeper cells in the country currently amounting to less than 10,000, Mohammad Mohaqiq, the second deputy chief executive of Afghanistan, told Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

“Takfiris [followers of a radical Islamist ideology] and Daesh terrorists do not have official presence in the provinces of Faryab, Jowzjan and Sar-e Pol, however, despite this, they are hiding in sleeper cells, there are also a number of camps, where the foreigners are undergoing training, but they do not openly declare their presence,” Mohaqiq said.

He added that the terrorists operating in the country had suffered considerable casualties in fights with the Taliban radical movement.

“At some point, the number of [Daesh terrorists] totalled up to 10,000, however, I believe that currently, the number is lower because they have suffered severe blows from Taliban and sustained considerable losses in Nangarhar,” Mohaqiq said.

According to the official, the Taliban movement currently might control about 30 percent of the country’s territory.

“There is no exact statistics regarding Taliban’s control over territories in Afghanistan. The majority of people believe that [the Taliban] controls about 30 percent [of the territories], there are also unsafe areas, where the threat level is increased, and about 60 percent of the territories are government-controlled,” Mohaqiq said.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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