More than 150 ISIS terrorists surrendered to Afghan security forces in the northwestern province of Jawzjan after they were defeated and driven out by the Taliban, Taliban and government officials said on Wednesday.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): More than 150 ISIS terrorists surrendered to Afghan security forces in the northwestern province of Jawzjan after they were defeated and driven out by the Taliban, Taliban and government officials said on Wednesday.
The defeat represents a major setback for the group, which first appeared in eastern Afghanistan around four years ago and which had gained a foothold in southern Jawzjan, where it fought for control of smuggling routes into neighboring Turkmenistan.
“The evil phenomenon of Daesh has completely been eliminated and people have been freed from its tortures in Jawzjan province of Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, using an Arabic term for the group.
The Taliban launched an offensive several weeks ago in Jawzjan against the group, which they oppose as much as they do the government in Kabul and which has established an unmatched reputation for brutality.
Last month, General John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, welcomed the fact that the Taliban were fighting ISIS, which he said had to be destroyed.
Mujahid said more than 150 ISIS terrorists had been killed and more than 130 captured by the Taliban with the rest surrendering to government forces rather than the Taliban.
Afghan government officials said 152 militants from the ISIS strongholds of Darzab and Qush Tepa surrendered to security forces in the early hours of the morning.
Mawlawi Habiburrahman, commander of ISIS forces in the north, and another commander called Mufti Nematullah were among those who surrendered, they said.
Bands of ISIS terrorists have been increasingly active in northern Afghanistan in recent years, fighting the Taliban for control of resources and sparking alarm in neighboring nations.
Government officials said the group’s defeat in Jawzjan would ease concerns about its potential to expand and support militant activity outside Afghanistan.
“The worries of neighboring countries, and the presence of Daesh groups on their borders, have now been removed,” said Mohammad Reza Ghafouri, a spokesman for the provincial governor.