Islamic State loyalists fighting in Afghanistan are mostly residents of the Orakzai tribal region of northwest Pakistan, a top Afghan official said on Monday.
Documents recovered from the IS loyalists revealed they had come from Pakistan to fight under the name of Islamic State terrorist group, officials in Nangarhar province were quoted as saying by Khaama Press news agency.
Some officials in Nangarhar even believe the IS loyalists are “directly operating under the command” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
Ataullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the provincial governor, said documents obtained from the bodies of fighters and those arrested during operations in Achin, Kot, Haska Mina and other parts of Nangarhar revealed they were residents of Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
Khogyani said intelligence gathered by the government had also revealed that the IS loyalists mostly comprised Pakistani nationals.
Residents of Tajikistan are also fighting alongside Pakistani nationals for the IS, whose members are “mainly deployed after completing training in Pakistan”, he said.
The comments by the Afghan officials came against the backdrop of reports that at least 30% of Kot district in Nangarhar is under the control of IS loyalists.
Afghan and US forces have increased raids against IS loyalists in Nangarhar in recent months. The troops have conducted airstrikes to eliminate the supporters of the terror group amid fears they are attempting to expand their footprint in Afghanistan, the report said.