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Taliban intelligence forces killed three Islamic State group militants and arrested one in an overnight operation in the Afghan capital of Kabul, an official said Tuesday.
The raid on a residential building targeted IS militants who organized recent attacks in the capital, said Khalil Hamraz, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for Afghanistan’s general director of intelligence. He called the target in the Karti Naw neighborhood an important IS hideout.
The Islamic State group did not immediately respond to the government’s claims.
During the operation, three IS members were killed, and one militant was arrested. Ammunition and military equipment were seized by the troops, he added.
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A Taliban fighter checks an Islamic State group house that was destroyed in the ongoing conflict between the two in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
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The regional affiliate of the Islamic State group — known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province — is a key rival of the Taliban. The group has increased its attacks in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in 2021. Targets have included Taliban patrols and members of Afghanistan’s Shiite minority.
Local residents reported hearing several explosions and an hourslong gun battle.
“This place was not known, because people were not going and coming to this area much,” said Hejran Khan, a local resident. “The people who were there were not showing themselves and were not coming out, people didn’t know who they are and what their plan was.”
The Taliban swept across the country in August 2021, seizing power as U.S. and NATO forces were in the last weeks of their final withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.