ISIS-K Claims Responsibility for Bombings Targeting Taliban Vehicles Over the Weekend

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
September 20, 2021 Updated: September 20, 2021

ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for several bombings in Afghanistan over the weekend that targeted the Taliban, killing several people and injuring dozens more.

In two statements, the terrorist group claimed responsibility for three separate bomb attacks targeting three Taliban vehicles in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar Province, on Sept. 18 and another bomb attack on Sept. 19 on a Taliban vehicle.

“More than 35 Taliban militia members were killed or wounded, in a series of explosions that took place,” ISIS-K said in the statement.

The terrorist group didn’t comment on the death toll.

Reuters reported on Sept. 18 that at least three people were killed and about 20 were wounded from blasts in Jalalabad. The official death toll is still unclear.

Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, said the Sept. 19 bombing had killed one child and injured two people, one of which was a Taliban member, according to The Washington Post.

“We have started investigations into the incident to reach the culprits,” Karimi said.

The Taliban spokesman said that the Sept. 18 bombings were only “minor” and that “a number of casualties were reported,” but didn’t provide further details.

Jalalabad is ISIS-K’s stronghold. The city is 80 miles from Kabul, Afghanistan. Nangarhar Province, which borders Pakistan, is currently thought to be the only province where ISIS-K is targeting the Taliban.

The Sept. 18 bombings were the first deadly attack in Afghanistan since the United States withdrew its troops from the country in mid-August and the Taliban terrorist group subsequently took over the country.

Epoch Times Photo
Members of the Taliban terrorist group sit on a vehicle along the street in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Aug. 15, 2021. (/AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
Taliban terrorists stand guard inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the U.S. withdrawal in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 31, 2021. (Kathy Gannon/AP Photo)

The U.S. withdrawal was marred by the Aug. 26 bombings at Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. service members.

The soldiers were leading an evacuation mission and screening people at the Abbey Gate of the airport, as thousands of Americans, Afghans, and other foreign nationals attempted to flee Afghanistan. ISIS-K later claimed responsibility for the attack, which also claimed the lives of more than 160 Afghans.

According to Counter Extremism Project (CEP) research analyst Riza Kumar, ISIS-K is estimated to have a force of at least 2,000 affiliated fighters.

The group, which was officially accepted by the core ISIS group as an affiliate in January 2015, was formed by the disgruntled commanders of the Pakistani Taliban and is a sworn enemy of the Taliban.

It’s thought that ISIS-K has been carrying out violent attacks against the Taliban in an effort to distinguish itself from the rival group.

Despite the latest attacks in Jalalabad and at Kabul airport, top intelligence officials said last week Afghanistan doesn’t pose the largest terrorist threat to the United States.

Speaking at an intelligence and national security conference in Washington on Sept. 13, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said the United States is more concerned with a number of other countries that could be harboring terrorists and could pose a threat to national security.

“In terms of the homeland, the threat right now from terrorist groups, we don’t prioritize at the top of the list Afghanistan,” Haines said. “What we look at is Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq for ISIS. That’s where we see the greatest threat.”

Haines also acknowledged that intelligence gathering in Afghanistan has been “diminished” since the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the Taliban’s takeover.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.