A member of the Afghan security forces takes part in a patrol during clashes with the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in Kot, Nangarhar province, July 26, 2016. (AFP)
At least 120 members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group have been killed in an Afghan army offensive in the northern province of Nangarhar.
The offensive comes against the backdrop of the July 23 deadly bombings in the capital Kabul, where at least 80 people were killed. Daesh claimed the terrorist attack at a gathering of the Shia Hazara minority as they protested against a major power line project.
Officials in Nangarhar said Tuesday that the offensive was carried out in the mountainous district of Kot, a main stronghold of the Takfiri group where it has set up courts and training camps.
Provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said Afghan troops seized large parts of the area and killed Saad Emarati, a local Daesh commander.
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish also said, “They have been taught a lesson for their crimes. We will wipe out IS (Daesh) from Nangarhar.”
Daesh said after the Kabul carnage that it targeted members of the Shia minority for their support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian forces have made major advances against Daesh over the past few months, purging the terrorists from some key areas east and northeast of the country.
The rise of Daesh in Afghanistan has already triggered concerns in a country which has been torn apart by decades of Taliban-led militancy and the 2001 invasion of the US and its allies. Daesh has also capitalized on splits emerging among the ranks of the Taliban since the news broke last year of the death of the Taliban founder and long-time leader Mullah Omar.