Taliban labels IS affiliate as ‘false cult’

“We call on the nation that the incendiary phenomenon of ISIS-K is outdated and is a false sect that spreads corruption in our Islamic country. It is forbidden to have any kind of aid or relationship with them,” the Taliban said. . in a resolution on Saturday.

The resolution follows a three-day conference of religious leaders and elders in Kabul, according to the Afghan state news agency Bakthar.

ISIS-K (the k stands for Khorasan, the name of a historical region that included parts of modern Afghanistan and Pakisan) has been active in Afghanistan in recent years.

It is a branch of ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — according to the Wilson Center, an impartial policy forum.

It has carried out numerous attacks on Afghan civilians and is blamed for thousands of deaths since its inception in 2015.

The Taliban’s resolution states that Afghanistan follows an Islamic system of rule and that “armed opposition to this system is considered rebellion and corruption.”

It added that “any form of opposition to this Islamic ruling system, which is contrary to Islamic Sharia law and national interests, is corruption and illegal action.”

The link between ISIS-K and its apparent parent group Islamic State is not entirely clear; the affiliates share an ideology and tactics, but the depth of their relationship with regard to organization and command and control has never been fully established.

US intelligence officials previously told CNN that ISIS-K membership includes “a small number of experienced jihadists from Syria and other foreign terrorist fighters,” and said the US had identified 10 to 15 of its top agents in Afghanistan.

Early members included Pakistani militants who emerged in Afghan province of Nangarhar about a decade ago, many of whom had fled Pakistan and defected from other terror groups, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Anti-terrorist analysts estimated the strength at about 1,500-2,000 last year, but that number may have grown.

In their resolution on Saturday, the Taliban also swore allegiance to Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, the reclusive supreme leader of the group, whom they called the “leader of the people.”

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