Russian envoy estimates ISIS has 10,000 loyalists in Afghanistan

ISIS-Khurasan-300x177The Russian Presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has estimated the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has 10,000 loyalists in Afghanistan.

Kabulov who is also director of the Second Asian Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry has said the terror group is expanding its military activity in Afghanistan.

“The IS activity has grown significantly in Afghanistan since summer 2014. The group numerical strength is estimated at 10,000 people,” Kabulov quoted by TASS news agency said.

He said “The figure can continue growing, as the IS slogans and high financing are attractive to Afghan youth.”

The remarks by Kabulov comes as the coalition officials estimated around 1,000 to 3,000 Islamic State fighters are stationed in in eastern Afghanistan and are trying to establish a base of operations in the rugged mountains of Nangahar Province.

However, latest reports emerging from the eastern Kunar province suggests the group’s leader has shifted to this province after the terror group received major setbacks as a result of military operations during the recent months.

The Afghan security forces launched a major offensive against the terror group in Nangarhar province last month and cleared most parts of the districts under the control of the terror group.

Meanwhile, the US forces in Afghanistan increased air campaign against the loyalists of the terror group after the Obama administration granted new authorities to pound the militants affiliated with the terror group in Afghanistan.

The operations were launched amid concerns that the loyalists of the terror group are establishing a regional operational base as they were attempting to consolidate operations with the terror group in Syria and Iraq. K-P

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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