World Spate of attacks in eastern Afghanistan marks push by Islamic State militants

02:33  12 july  2018
02:33  12 july  2018 Source:

Multiple casualties in suicide attack near Afghan ministry: police

  Multiple casualties in suicide attack near Afghan ministry: police A suicide attacker blew himself up in front of a government ministry in Kabul on Sunday, killing or wounding at least 10 people, police said, in the latest deadly violence in Afghanistan. The explosion happened at the rural rehabilitation and development ministry around 4:30 pm, police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told AFP.Ministry spokesman Fraidoon Azhand said the bomber struck at a security gate as employees were exiting the compound to go home.He said six people were killed and 12 were wounded, most of them ministry workers. Those figures could not be immediately confirmed.

The spate of Islamic State attacks in the Jalalabad region and surrounding Nangahar province has come as U.S. and Afghan Special Operations forces have stepped up their joint counterterror campaign against the violent foreign-based insurgent group

The Islamic State militants were accused of using civilian residents of towns as human shields.[647] The Telegraph reported that "Extremist " Islamic State Spreads in North Africa in Attacks Ignored by West" . Bloomberg. "Iran's elite Guards fighting in Iraq to push back Islamic State ". Reuters.

a group of people walking down the street © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post KABUL —A squad of assailants, including gunmen and a suicide bomber, stormed a government building Wednesday in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, killing at least 11 people, in the latest of half a dozen deadly attacks in that region since mid-June. No group has asserted responsibility for the attack, but most of the others have been claimed by the Islamic State.

The morning attack on a busy education office building in the crowded provincial capital left several dozen officials and visitors trapped for hours while insurgents and security forces exchanged gunfire, officials and witnesses said. Ten other people were injured. A spokesman for the provincial governor’s office said the assault had ended but gave no details.

Afghan civilian deaths 'hit record high'

  Afghan civilian deaths 'hit record high' Some 1,692 deaths were recorded in the country's conflict in the first six months of 2018, UN says.Some 1,692 fatalities were recorded, with militant attacks and suicide bombs said to be the leading causes of death.

That month, Islamic State attackers stormed two different Afghanistan intelligence service locations in a week. That has created a deadly feedback loop that may at least partially explain the recent spate of attacks around Kabul.

THREE murderous attacks in Kabul in little more than a week have thrust Afghanistan back into The violence left Afghans wondering whether the Taliban and the local branch of Islamic State By staging attacks in big cities, it is suggested, the militants hope to get more attention than in a losing

Wednesday’s attack came one day after a suicide bombing in Jalalabad, claimed by the Islamic State, killed 12 people, including several children who were working in a carwash, officials said. The bomber detonated near a gas station, setting off a large fire. Two people working for the national intelligence agency, which has offices nearby, were among the dead.

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A news agency affiliated with the extremist Sunni militia released a statement saying “a martyrdom attack using an explosives jacket hit a gathering of Afghan intelligence.”

The spate of Islamic State attacks in the Jalalabad region and surrounding Nangahar province has come as U.S. and Afghan Special Operations forces have stepped up their joint counterterror campaign against the violent foreign-based insurgent group, which controls several districts of Nangahar near the Pakistan border.

ISIS vs. Taliban: Dozens Killed as Militants Clash

  ISIS vs. Taliban: Dozens Killed as Militants Clash The two groups are battling for territory in the remote north of the country.The Taliban has been the most potent armed force in Afghanistan since it emerged from the south of the country in 1994. While the U.S.-led coalition continues its seemingly unwinnable war against the extremists, the threat of the local ISIS affiliate group is growing.

KABUL (Reuters) - Heavy fighting between Islamic State militants and government security forces has claimed dozens of lives in eastern Afghanistan , officials said on Sunday. In January, U.S. President Barack Obama gave U.S. forces in Afghanistan more freedom to attack Islamic State targets

The spate of violence, which included an attack on a British charity in the eastern city of Jalalabad, raised fresh The simultaneous spurt of attacks by both Islamist militant groups has caused confusion and speculation about Islamic State attacks Save the Children charity in Afghanistan .

It also comes as hopes have soared for negotiations and reconciliation with the Taliban, a strictly Afghan insurgency, after a successful three-day cease-fire between the Taliban and the government of President Ashraf Ghani that,triggered an outpouring of emotional support and sent Taliban fighters pouring into cities and towns to greet civilians and Afghan troops.

a group of people in a vehicle © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post During and shortly after that three-day truce, the Islamic State staged two deadly attacks in Nangahar, both aimed at gatherings or locations where government officials, elders and clerics, and local Taliban forces had met to talk for the first time in the 17-year conflict.

On June 16, 26 people were killed in an attack on one gathering in the Rodat district, where Taliban and local leaders were celebrating the Eid holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Officials said explosives were hidden in a car near the meeting site.

Pompeo makes surprise visit to Kabul: Afghan official

  Pompeo makes surprise visit to Kabul: Afghan official US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Kabul Monday for talks with Afghan leaders, an Afghan official said, amid renewed optimism for peace in the war-weary country. Pompeo's first official visit to Afghanistan since he was sworn in as America's top diplomat in April follows an unprecedented ceasefire during Eid last month.The Islamic holiday was marked by spontaneous street celebrations involving Afghan security forces and Taliban militants.The official confirmed Pompeo's arrival on the condition of anonymity. A joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani is due to start shortly.

KABUL (Reuters) - Militants on Monday raided a military academy in Kabul, the Afghan capital, killing 11 soldiers, the fourth major attack in a spate Islamic State claimed an assault on the office of aid group Save the Children in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday in which six people were killed.

Spate of deadly attacks in Kabul highlights resiliency of Afghanistan 's insurgency. It was a sign of U.S. frustration with Pakistan's failure to deal with militants on its side of the border. More recently, the Islamic State has moved into Afghanistan , complicating the insurgency against the U.S

Then on July 1, a suicide bombing in Jalalabad killed at least 19 people, most of them members of the country’s Sikh religious minority who were traveling in a vehicle to a meeting with Ghani. One of the dead was Atwar Singh Khalsa, a Sikh candidate for parliamentary elections to be held in October, the first-ever legislative contender from that group.

A community of Sikh traders and merchants has been based in Jalalabad for decades, many originally migrants from India. Sikhs suffered discrimination during recent years of conflict and Taliban rule, and their numbers have shrunk from tens of thousands to less than 1,000. Khalsa’s candidacy was a sign of the group’s hopes for political resurgence.

A day earlier, the Islamic State claimed a gruesome attack on a school in Nangahar, in which the assailants killed three night watchmen, beheading two of them, and setting fire to the school.

Analysts said the surge in attacks in Jalalabad by the Islamic State suggested it has decided to hit back hard against both the growing national momentum for peace with the Taliban and demonstrate its continued power to strike in the regional capital after U.S. and Afghan troops have driven it out of its original border-area strongholds.

“They are mainly targeting government institutions to attract local and international media attention,” Mushtaq Rahim, an analyst in Kabul, said Wednesday. He said the group has “accelerated” its efforts “because they are under pressure in the battlefield.”

As a U.S. shadow war intensifies in Yemen, al-Qaeda is down but not out .
Pentagon says militants are losing ground. Local anti-al-Qaeda fighters report their gains against the group are precarious and it remains a potent threat.The first explosion shattered one vehicle, but the convoy pushed forward. Then came a second blast. Within minutes, five trucks were destroyed and the militants began firing with heavy weapons from their perches, recalled five witnesses to the May 10 ambush.

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