Afghan forces have killed an estimated 300 members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during a recent massive military operation in the country’s troubled east.
The terrorists were killed in the large-scale offensive conducted by the Afghan military two weeks ago in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
General John Nicholson, a senior NATO commander in Afghanistan, also confirmed on Wednesday that Afghan soldiers managed to kill top Daesh commanders across the militancy-riddled region.
“They killed a number of top leaders of the organization and up to 300 of their fighters,” he told reporters, adding, “Obviously it’s difficult to get an exact count, but what this amounts to is about 25 percent of the organization at least, and so this represents a severe setback for them.”
The operations against Daesh affiliates in Afghanistan come amid rising concerns that the terror group is attempting to gain a new foothold in the country.
Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, has been the main area where Daesh has managed to carry out high-profile attacks.
The Takfiri group has reportedly managed to establish connections with Taliban’s splinter groups, especially those believed to be discontent with changes in the Taliban leadership.
Daesh has also enjoyed defections from al-Qaeda in Afghanistan although the latter’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has pledged allegiance to Taliban’s new leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada.
Officials in the Afghan government have blamed local leaders in the east of the country for the surge in the Daesh militancy.
The Takfiri terrorist group last month claimed responsibility for a bombing at a demonstration held by the Shia Hazara community in the capital, Kabul, where at least 80 people were killed.