A suicide attack at a Shia Mosque in Afghanistan’s northeastern city of Kunduz during Friday, at least 46 people were killed, while more than 140 were wounded inside the mosque in the Khan Abad area of Kunduz city. ISKP(ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for the attack through its Telegram channels. ISIS-K launched another attack at Kabul airport and killed about 170 people, including 13 American soldiers.
• Who is IS-K?
The Islamic State – Khorasan Province is the regional affiliate of the Islamic State group. IS-K has been active in Afghanistan, and its area of operations includes Pakistan, Tajikistan and India, where they claim attacks.
IS-K has emerged as the biggest security threat since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August. Even with similar beliefs, IS-K is a lot more intense than ISIS. IS-K tends to recruit Afghan, and Taliban defectors who feel the Taliban’s methods are not extreme enough.
• What are the differences between IS-K and Taliban?
The Taliban and ISIS are both Sunni Islamist extremist groups seeking to form authoritarian states under strict Sharia law and prepared to use violence to achieve their aim.
Both groups are viewed as oppressing women; the Taliban, the articles say, prohibit females over age ten from receiving an education.
IS-K and the Taliban consider each other enemies. IS-K has significant differences with the Taliban, accusing them of abandoning Jihad and the battlefield in favour of a negotiated peace settlement hammered out in “posh hotels” in Doha, Qatar. IS-K considers Taliban militants “apostates”, making their killing lawful under their interpretation of Islamic law.
Two groups have fought for turf, particularly in eastern Afghanistan. More recently, IS-K leaders have denounced the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, saying that the group’s version of Islamic rule was an insufficiently hard line.
IS militants now represent a major security challenge for the incoming Taliban government, something the Taliban leadership shares in common with Western intelligence agencies.