Afghan forces mentioned they retook a prison within the nation’s east on Monday afternoon, following an hours-long battle a day after the power was focused by the Islamic State group in an assault that killed 29 individuals. The prison is believed to be holding tons of of IS members.
The assault highlighted the challenges forward for Afghanistan, at the same time as U.S. and NATO forces start to withdraw following America putting a peace take care of the Taliban.
Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman mentioned the prison was taken again within the afternoon. The preventing additionally left at the least 50 wounded.
Even as Afghan troops seized the prison in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, some 115 kilometers (70 miles) east of Kabul, IS militants continued to fireplace on Afghan safety forces from a close-by neighborhood.
Sporadic gunfire rang out from close by residential buildings in central Jalalabad, an space of excessive safety close to the provincial governor’s workplace.
As safety forces swept by means of the prison, they discovered the our bodies of two Taliban prisoners apparently killed by the Islamic State group, exhibiting the tensions between the 2 militant factions battling one another in jap Afghanistan.
The 29 lifeless included civilians, prisoners, guards and Afghan safety forces, mentioned Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.
The assault started Sunday, when an Islamic State suicide bomber drove a automobile laden with explosives as much as the prison’s predominant gate, detonating the bomb. Islamic State militants opened hearth on the prison’s guards and poured in by means of the breach.
The IS affiliate in Afghanistan, generally known as IS in Khorasan province and headquartered in Nangarhar province, later claimed duty for the assault.
Some of the 1,500 prisoners held on the prison in Jalalabad escaped through the preventing. Khyogyani mentioned about 1,000 prisoners who earlier escaped had been discovered by safety forces throughout the town. It wasn’t instantly clear if any prisoners have been nonetheless at massive.
The assault got here a day after authorities mentioned Afghan particular forces killed a senior Islamic State commander close to Jalalabad. Several hundred prisoners in Jalalabad are believed to be Islamic State members.
While the Islamic State group has seen its so-called caliphate stretching throughout Iraq and Syria eradicated after a yearslong marketing campaign, the group has continued preventing in Afghanistan. The extremists even have battled the Taliban within the nation, whom the U.S. overthrew following the 2001 American-led invasion after the Sept. 11 assaults.
The Taliban’s political spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, informed The Associated Press that his group was not concerned within the Jalalabad assault. The U.S. struck a peace take care of the Taliban in February. A second, essential spherical of negotiations between the Taliban and the political management in Kabul has but to begin.
The Taliban had declared a three-day cease-fire beginning final Friday for the key Muslim vacation of Eid al-Adha. The cease-fire expired at 12 a.m. Monday, although it wasn’t instantly clear if it could be prolonged because the U.S. pushes for an early begin to intra-Afghan negotiations which have repeatedly been delayed since Washington signed the peace take care of the Taliban.
“We have a cease-fire and are not involved in any of these attacks anywhere in the country,” Shaheen mentioned.
The Taliban additionally had denied being concerned in a suicide bombing in jap Logar province late Thursday that killed at the least 9 individuals and wounded 40.
Afghanistan has seen a latest spike in violence, with most assaults claimed by the native IS affiliate.
Faiez reported from Kabul, Afghanistan. Associated Press author Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report.