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Saturday November 27, 2021

Taliban destroy IS cell after mosque attack

By AFP
October 05, 2021
Taliban destroy IS cell after mosque attack

KABUL: Taliban said on Monday they had destroyed an Islamic State (IS) cell in Kabul, hours after a suspected IS attack on a mosque killed five people.

Taliban’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said fighters carried out the operation in the north of Kabul on Sunday evening. "As a result of the operation, which was very decisive and successful, the IS centre was completely destroyed and all the IS members in it were killed," Mujahid said on Twitter. Witnesses and journalists heard blasts and gunfire in the capital at the time of the raid, and images posted to social media showed a large explosion and a fire at the scene.

Kabul resident and government employee Abdul Rahaman told AFP that Taliban special forces attacked at least three houses. "The fighting continued for several hours," he said, adding the sound of weapons kept him awake all night. "They said they were after Daesh (IS) fighters in the area," Rahman said. "I don´t know how many were killed or arrested but the fighting was intense."

At the scene on Monday, journalists saw several Taliban gunmen standing guard, denying people access down the road to the property. Police pick-up trucks could be seen driving towards the site, one of which came back laden with household items including furniture, a carpet and kitchen appliances.

The operation took place within hours of a deadly attack targeting a prayer ceremony at the Eid Gah mosque in memory of Taliban spokesman Mujahid´s mother, who died last week. According to the official, the device was placed at the entrance to the mosque and detonated as mourners were leaving after offering condolences to Mujahid and his family. A witness at the mosque told AFP that Sunday´s attack at the entrance was carried out by a single suicide bomber.