Taliban takes control of main IS stronghold in northern Afghanistan

KABUL (TCA) — At least 200 Islamic State (IS) fighters have surrendered to Afghan forces, amid intense fighting between followers of the extremist group and the Taliban in the northern province of Jawzjan, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan reported.

Provincial police chief Faqeer Mohammad Jawzjani told RFE/RL on August 1 that at least 200 militants had surrendered in Darzab district since late on July 31.

Jawzjani said the main IS stronghold in northern Afghanistan was now under the control of the Taliban, which has been fighting its rival group there for a month.

“The evil phenomenon of Daesh has completely been eliminated and people have been freed from its tortures in Jawzjan Province,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, using an Arabic acronym for the IS group.

There were no immediate comments from IS.

Mohammad Ismail, head of police in Darzab district, confirmed that groups of IS militants were turning themselves over to Afghan security forces amid ongoing clashes.

Other officials said a senior IS commander in northern Afghanistan, identified as Mawlawi Habiburrahman, was among the militants who surrendered.

Jawzjan Province’s police deputy chief, Abdul Hafeez Khashi, said that fighting between the two rival groups broke out in the area late on July 31 and was still under way.

Last month, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, expressed concern about the IS presence in the country.

“We are going fully at ISIS. And we also note that the Taliban is fighting ISIS, and we encourage that because ISIS needs to be destroyed,” Nicholson told reporters on July 23, using another acronym for the extremist group.

“There is no place for them in the future of Afghanistan,” he added.

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.

View more articles fromTCA