US drone kills four IS militants in Afghanistan

KABUL: A US drone on Thursday targeted hideouts of self-styled militant organisation – Islamic State – in Naziyan province of Afghanistan, which is adjacent to Pakistan’s Khyber Agency.


Security sources say the US drone fired two missiles, killing four militants and injuring several in the attack.

A militant hideout was also destroyed, they said, adding that all those killed belonged to the Islamic State group.

The details could not be independently verified. Tracking of drone strikes in Afghanistan is difficult since many of them take place in remote regions and are not reported.

The Islamic State group, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, has never formally acknowledged having a presence in Afghanistan but fears are growing that it is making inroads in the country.

In an earlier report in Dawn, Afghan officials were quoted as saying IS’s presence in the country was limited to small groups and factions that have split from the Taliban. The extent of their links to the group’s operations in Syria and Iraq, and the extent of the support they receive, is extremely unclear.

IS grabbed large areas of Syria and Iraq in a brutal campaign a couple of months ago but the Pentagon said the group’s presence in Afghanistan was still “in the initial exploratory phase”.

But the potential for IS to attract members has clearly not been lost on the Taliban, who recently warned the Middle East group’s leader against waging a parallel insurgency in Afghanistan.