Taliban fighters patrol the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan. 15 August, 2021 (Photo credit: AP Photo/Sidiqullah Khan)
On 25 September, Taliban officials finally confirmed that days after their takeover of Kabul, the group executed Abu Omar Khorasani, the former leader of an ISIS offshoot operating in Afghanistan.
Earlier unconfirmed news reports from August 17 claimed Taliban fighters dragged Khorasani and eight other members of his terror group out of prison in Kabul before executing them. The Taliban has now confirmed this sequence of events.
Khorasani, the founding leader of an ISIS affiliate in Khorasan, often referred to as ISIS-K, was originally named Maulvi Zia-ul-Haq and was from the Kunar province in Afghanistan. Several of his relatives held important positions in the recently overthrown government.
The confirmation of Khorasani’s execution comes as ISIS continues to launch attacks against Afghan citizens and Taliban forces in the eastern city of Jalalabad.
ISIS militants claimed responsibility for three attacks in the city between 22 and 23 September, allegedly killing six Taliban fighters.
The militants also took responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing outside of Kabul airport last month, which set off a chain of events that saw US and Turkish troops gun down dozens of Afghan citizens in the aftermath.
Since defeating the US-backed government on 15 August, the Taliban has pledged to stop ISIS from gaining any ground in Afghanistan.
On 18 August, senior Taliban official Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa told PressTV that ISIS extremists are “deviant” and that their beliefs do not exist among any Afghan groups.
During the interview, the Taliban leader also revealed that ISIS fighters were “more or less on the side of the government,” suggesting that the former Afghan government administration used the terrorist group for intelligence purposes.
Khairkhwa went on to say that if ISIS had headquarters in Afghanistan, then the Taliban would undoubtedly bring the fight to them.