by Zeerak Fahim
JALALABAD: Self-styled DAESH initiated constructing a military base in Nuristan province amid reports that security forces was investigating the issue, a provincial council head claimed Wednesday.
The area of Mandawal is located in eastern Nuristan and an easy access to Paroon, Panjsher and Badakhshan provinces. The influx and heavy presence of militants left great impact on the law and order situation in Badakhshan province and paves the way to central Asian states, an official said.
Eng. Sadullah Painda, head of PC, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the DAESH group had been active in four districts and wanted to establish a military base in the district. “DAESH fighters came from Pakistan through Nangarhar and strive to force their way into Mandawal district. The government writ is weak in the district and DAESH wants to increase its influence there,” he added.
DAESH presence has been reported in Shinwari district amid reports that a US drone had killed several fighters in the area. But local departments had not reported about DAESH fighters’ movement to other provinces.
The group had started recruiting fighters in Mandawal, Wigal, Kamdesh and Brugmatal districts of Nuristan, Eng. Painda said. Brig. Gen. Khalilullah Zaee, police chief, rejected DAESH presence in the province and said they had started investigation in this regard.
“I don’t reject or accept the provincial council statement regarding presence of DAESH. We have noticed a group fighting against Taliban in Wigal district but can’t say for sure that they are DAESH,” he added.
The district of Madawal had been controlled from Du Aab district for the last few years, the police chief said.
Obaidullah, a resident of Nuristan, confirmed the presence of armed militants but said that DAESH presence would create more fear among people.
Zabihullah Ghazi, a local journalist, said Nuristan officials had confirmed the presence of DAESH and said that “the group can recruit more people in Nuristan and Kunar then Nangarhar since it believes in the Salafi sect.”
The PC head demanded government to initiate military operation against the group in the province. The reports about the group’s activities are a warning shot as DAESH has already initiated war against the Taliban in neighboring Nangarhar province.
The term “DAESH” is a better choice to describe ISIL or ISIS because it is, some how, the acronym for the group’s full Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, and, for some reason, irritates members of the extremist group when you use it instead of the other acronyms. So says Zeba Khan via the Boston Globe.