ISIS claims responsibility for string of deadly attacks in eastern Afghanistan

Residents of Jalalabad and Taliban fighters look at the scene of a bombing.
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

The Islamic State is stepping up its attacks in eastern Afghanistan, claiming responsibility for multiple recent roadside bombings that targeted Taliban fighters but left civilians dead as well.

The bombings took place in Jalalabad, an ISIS stronghold, and purposely went after Taliban vehicles. On Sunday, eight people were killed in the blasts, including some Taliban militants, and dozens more injured. Additional explosions were heard in Jalalabad on Monday, and The Associated Press says there are unconfirmed reports that additional Taliban fighters were killed.

After assuming control of Afghanistan in August, the Taliban told world leaders it would not let terrorist groups use the country as a base to plan overseas attacks. Before the U.S. finished its withdrawal last month, an ISIS attack at the Kabul airport killed 13 U.S. service members and 169 Afghan civilians.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Taliban and ISIS are rivals with different goals: While the Taliban wants to control Afghanistan with its strict interpretation of Islamic law, ISIS wants to have an Islamic empire across several countries. There are many more Taliban fighters in Afghanistan than ISIS militants, but research analyst Ibraheem Bahiss told AP these new attacks show ISIS is "making a very dramatic comeback. There could be a long-term struggle between the groups."

Feda Mohammad's 18-year-old brother and 10-year-old cousin were killed in one of the Sunday blasts, and he told AP that after years of war, Afghans believed "that since the Taliban have come, peace will come. But there's no peace, no security. You can't hear anything except the news of bomb blasts killing this one or that."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us