14 Keralites with ISKP, blast outside Turkmenistan mission in Kabul foiled

By, New Delhi
Aug 28, 2021 09:14 AM IST

Credible reports from Kabul indicate the Taliban detained two Pakistani nationals with an explosive device outside the Turkmenistan embassy after the Kabul airport attack on August 26.

At least 14 Kerala residents are part of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) terror group after being freed by the Taliban from Bagram jail even as there are unconfirmed reports of two Pakistanis being picked up by the Sunni Pashtun terrorist group for trying to detonate an IED device outside the Turkmenistan embassy in Kabul on August 26. The Kabul airport suicide bombing death figures are nearing 200, including 13 US soldiers.

The Kabul airport suicide bombing death figures are nearing 200, including 13 US soldiers. (File Photo)
The Kabul airport suicide bombing death figures are nearing 200, including 13 US soldiers. (File Photo)

According to reports reaching from Afghanistan, Kabul is in control of the Haqqani Network as the Zadran Pashtuns are traditionally dominant on the Jalalabad-Kabul axis with the tribe dominant in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan. ISKP is also active in the Nangarhar province and has operated with Haqqani Network in the past.

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It is understood that one out of the 14 Keralites contacted his home in the southern state, while the remaining 13 are still at large in Kabul with the ISKP terrorist group. After the so-called Islamic State of Syria and Levant occupied Mosul in 2014, batches of Keralites from the Malappuram, Kasaragod and Kannur districts left India to escape the land of Kafirs and join the jihadist group in the Middle East. Out of this, some families came down to Nangarhar province in Afghanistan to settle under the ISKP.

Also read | US hits back at ISIS-K, 'kills' terrorist planner in drone strike in Afghanistan

While India is worried that the Taliban and their handlers will use these radicalised Keralites to besmirch Indian reputation by indulging in acts of terror in Afghanistan, there are very credible reports coming about the detention of two Pakistanis who were trying to conduct a blast outside the Turkmenistan embassy. The Taliban are for obvious reasons tight-lipped about the entire incident but intelligence reports indicate that an improvised explosive device was recovered from these Pakistani nationals soon after the Kabul airport blast on August 26. Given that Pakistan along with the UK was involved in the US cutting out a deal with the Taliban, the incident appears to have been drowned in the mayhem after the airport attack. HT online has no independent means of confirmation.

Also read | Kabul attack killed 13 US troops, many of them in 20s. Here are their stories

The situation in Kabul is very fluid with Pakistan with the help of the Haqqani Network putting pressure on the Taliban to form a 12 member council with elements of the previous regime with the aim of getting global legitimacy, but the Mullah Yaqoob faction is reluctant. The neighbouring countries of Afghanistan are waiting for the US to exit from the Islamic Emirates on August 31 before any decision on its relationship with the Taliban is considered.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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