An operation that “eliminated a group of ISKP in Kabul and Nimroz provinces,” according to Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, “eliminated militants involved in the attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul and a separate attack on a hotel targeting Chinese nationals.”
In what Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif described as “an assassination attempt” on the mission’s chief Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani, who was safe, earlier in December, shots fired at the Pakistan embassy in the Afghan capital wounded a Pakistani security guard.
The attack was blamed on the outlawed Islamic State organization the next day. The IS Khorasan chapter claimed in a statement cited by jihadist watchdog SITE that it had “attacked the Pakistani ambassador and his guards.”
“We have seen reports that the IS-KP has accepted responsibility for the terrorist attack on the Pakistan Embassy compound on December 2, 2022,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement on December 4.
We are independently and in consultation with the Afghan authorities verifying the accuracy of these reports, according to the statement.
On December 12, armed men opened fire inside a hotel in Kabul’s city center that was popular with Chinese tourists. Later, Beijing confirmed that five of its citizens had been hurt in the assault.
In a statement released today, Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that operations against a “dangerous and important network” of Daesh (Islamic State) were conducted on Wednesday by the security forces of the Taliban administration.
The spokesman confirmed that eight militants, including foreign nationals, were killed in the operation and seven more people were taken into custody. He also stated that the militant group Daesh was responsible for both of the aforementioned attacks.
During the operation, a female IS-KP member was also reportedly detained. For “security reasons,” Mujahid chose not to disclose the nationalities of the militants.
According to Mujahid, who spoke to local media, “the scores of suspects arrested have been relocated for investigation.”
The spokesperson went on to state that three “hideouts” had been “destroyed” during the operation conducted in the Shuda-e-Saliheen and Qalacha areas and Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province.
“A large number of small arms, hand grenades, mines, suicide vests, and explosives were obtained,” he said.
In addition, he claimed that the militants who had been killed had also been plotting additional attacks on “several other important places”.
He continued, saying the “group was the most lethal,” saying they “planned to bring in Daesh members from other countries to Afghanistan and carry out widespread coordinated attacks.”
The United States had previously threatened to “take action” against the Taliban government if it discovered foreign terrorists reorganizing there.
Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US State Department, said in a press conference that the Taliban was “either unable or unwilling to live up to the commitments that they’ve made in a number of areas” in response to a question about their failure to provide safe havens for terrorist organizations.
He added that this was something that the US was interested in. “One of those areas is the commitment they have made to counterterrorism, to seeing to it that Afghanistan does not once again become a haven for international terrorists, a launch pad for attacks against countries well beyond its borders,” he said.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is prohibited, and its affiliates will not be allowed to operate on Afghan territory, according to a new demand Pakistan plans to make to the interim Afghan government, according to official sources who spoke to The Express Tribune.
The Afghan Taliban would be asked to cooperate in this effort, they said, adding that the Afghan Taliban would be given more resources as the civil and military leadership decided to deal with the TTP and other terror outfits with iron hands.
According to the spokesperson, the US was not “entirely beholden to the Taliban” when it came to counterterrorism in the area because of their “capabilities.”
The US had “demonstrated those capabilities in recent months with the killing of the now-deceased al-Qaida emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the speaker emphasized.
The US had, in the words of Price, “lived up to the commitment that you have repeatedly heard from President Biden since the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan last year, that we will take action if we see international terrorists regrouping in Afghanistan.”