ISIL kidnapped 31 Shia Muslims in Afghanistan
A top Shia community leader in Afghanistan has held the Takfiri ISIL terror group responsible for abducting dozens of Shia men and boys in the country nearly two months ago.
Mohammad Mohaqiq, who is a deputy to Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, said on Saturday that Mullah Abdullah Kaka and his deputy, Mullah Mansur Dadullah, two former Taliban leaders who have declared allegiance to ISIL, were behind the abduction of 31 members of the Hazara ethnic group on February 24 in southern Zabul Province.
The incident took place on the road between the western city of Herat and the capital, Kabul, when the Shia Muslims were traveling on two vehicles.
He added that the two militants have simply “changed their white flag” of the Taliban militant group for the black ISIL flag.
Following the kidnappings, security forces in Afghanistan launched an operation to find the abductees, but their efforts have failed to yield any results so far.
Mohaqiq, meanwhile, added that the Hazaras have now been divided into three or four groups and are being held in different areas of the mountainous province.
The Hazara community, which accounts for as much as 25 percent of Afghanistan’s population, is often targeted by militants in the country and neighboring Pakistan.
Fears have recently been growing over the influence of the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group in Afghanistan, which has witnessed years of instability despite the presence of foreign troops. The extremist group control parts of land in Syria and Iraq.
The file photo of Takfiri ISIL militants in Syria
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed Taliban from power, but insecurity still remains in some provinces.
The US-led combat mission in Afghanistan ended on December 31, 2014. However, at least 13,500 foreign forces, mainly from the United States, have remained in the country in what Washington calls a support mission.
NATO says the forces will focus mainly on counterterrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.