ISIS being wiped out in Afghanistan: Afghan president

KABUL -- Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday that the Islamic State group has been defeated in the eastern parts of the country, where it had taken over some remote districts.

See Full Article

Speaking at the opening of parliament, Ghani said Afghan forces had dislodged IS loyalists from regions of Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan.

"Afghanistan will be their graveyard," he said in an address broadcast live on national television.

IS has had a presence in Afghanistan for more than a year. Officials have said most militants calling themselves IS are disaffected Taliban fighters.

Afghan forces have claimed victory following a 21-day operation in the Achin and Shinwar districts of Nangarhar, claiming at least 200 militants killed, a provincial official told The Associated Press.

Achin and Shinwar are among a number of districts in the remote mountainous regions along the Pakistan border that were overtaken by IS loyalists in recent months. Operations against the militants included airstrikes to destroy bases and a radio station that was broadcasting IS recruitment messages across Nangarhar province. The radio station was destroyed, along with at least seven militants, on Feb. 1.

"The aim of the operation in Nangarhar was to root out IS from the area," said Afghan Army Lt. Col. Sharin Aqa, a spokesman for the 201 Corps.

The operation was aided by local residents who set up checkpoints to help maintain security in their villages. These so-called "local uprisings" had supplemented the Afghan forces, which have been stretched since the drawdown in 2014 of the international combat mission, he said.

The Afghan government is attempting to end the war on its territory with hopes of drawing the Taliban into a dialogue and eventual peace talks. The IS presence has been principally in the east, where they have also fought the Taliban for territory.

The Taliban have intensified their war to overthrow the Kabul government. The usual winter lull on fighting did not come in the southern regions, notably Helmand province where most of the opium that produces the world's heroin supply is grown.

Officials have said the fight in Helmand, which the Taliban consider part of their heartland, is for control of the smuggling routes, and some Taliban groups have been fighting each other. The drug production is worth up to $3 billion a year. The Islamic State group is believed to be interested in Afghanistan because of the riches offered from contraband, including weapons, alcohol and minerals.

A direct dialogue between representatives of the government and the Taliban had been slated for the first weeks of March, reviving a peace process that was scuttled last year when Kabul announced that the Taliban's founder and leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had been dead for more than two years.

A Taliban statement on Sunday said that Mullah Omar's successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, had not given approval for any participation in talks with the Afghan government.

Kabul has reached out to all insurgent groups to join the peace process and has said it will wipe out those who do not participate.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump: Threats against Jewish centres a ’horrible’ reminder that more must be done to root out hate [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced recent threats against Jewish community centres as “horrible ... painful” and said more must be done “to root out hate and prejudice and evil.” Trump’s remarks, made at the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, marked the first time he directly addressed recent incidents of anti-Semitism. Source
  • Gay boxer Yusaf Mack TKOs homophobic troll

    World News Toronto Sun
    A gay boxer hammered a homophobic troll in a Philadelphia barber shop sending the loudmouth cowering to his corner. Openly gay slugger Yusaf Mack said he had been relentlessly pummelled online by Hector Echevarria. The comments were derogatory and homophobic. Source
  • Piano teacher arrested for burying hubby in farmyard

    World News Toronto Sun
    A British piano teacher has discovered that burying her husband in her backyard hits a sour note with Portuguese authorities. To say nothing of the dead man’s children. Louise Khan, 46, was arrested after burying her husband, Alyn Pennycook, at her remote farm in Guarda, Portugal, after he died of cancer, according to the Daily Mail. Source
  • The old despot’s club

    World News Toronto Sun
    So, happy birthday then, Robert Mugabe! The Zimbabwe dictator celebrated his 93rd birthday with a boffo bash in the impoverished country. Mugabe is among a handful of despots whose longevity is perplexing given their propensity for violence, thievery and human rights abuses. Source
  • Canada to give asylum to 1,200 primarily Yazidi refugees by year end

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - The Trudeau government is poised to announce today that Canada has given safe haven to almost 400 Yazidi refugees and other survivors of Islamist extremists in the last four months and will take in about 800 more by the end of the year. Source
  • Indian teen believed to be dead wakes up in hearse

    World News Toronto Sun
    An Indian teen has risen “from the dead” after he woke up in a hearse on the way to his own funeral. According to published reports, Kumar Marewad, 17, “died” after a dog bite. Suffering from a high fever, he went to Dharwad hospital last week. Source
  • Canada isn't about to throw Mexico under the bus, foreign ministers say

    Canada News CBC News
    It might be too early to say where the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement will lead, but the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico already agree on one thing: Mexico will not be thrown under the bus. Source
  • Student's grading of ex-girlfriend's apology note goes viral

    World News Toronto Sun
    When Nick Lutz’s ex-girlfriend went old school in her post-breakup apology, he decided to school her on the prose. Lutz, a student at the University of Central Florida, did a bang-up, red-penned editing job on the four-page apology note he was sent by his ex, only identified as Elizabeth. Source
  • Canadians warn against Trump pressure to change strategy for fighting ISIS

    Canada News CBC News
    Two senior Canadian generals have defended the current strategy for defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which U.S. officials have put under review following scathing criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis was in Iraq this week after Trump gave the retired marine general until the end of the month to come up with a plan for speeding up the campaign. Source
  • Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe praises Donald Trump’s ’America First’ policy

    World News Toronto Sun
    HARARE, Zimbabwe — U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy has an admirer in Zimbabwe’s longtime president, who says the policy resonates with his own thinking. President Robert Mugabe, who turned 93 on Tuesday and is the world’s oldest head of state, spoke in a birthday interview with state-run media. Source