Local officials in the eastern province of Kunar on Wednesday raised concerns over Daesh activity in four districts of the province.
The governor of Kunar, Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal, said that around 1,200 fighters--including foreigners-- are active locally.
“According to our intelligence, there are up to 1,200 fighters, including fighters from Central Asian countries, Arabs, Punjabis and even Bangladeshi citizens and two to three Iranian families,” said Mirzakwal.
According to local officials, Daesh fighters are active in the Narang Aw Badil, Nurgal, Sawkai and Chapa Dara districts.
“A few days ago we arrested seven women--four were Pakistani nationals and the other three were Turkmen nationals--and we handed them over to the appropriate agencies, said Shafiqullah Sahar, Kunar police chief.
Meanwhile, Kunar’s provincial council and a number of residents in the province warned that Daesh fighters will pose serious threats in the future if they are not dealt with now.
“Daesh fighters operate from high up, and we are with the government if the government acts,” said Abdullah, a resident.
“The Daesh fighters are numerous and are on the mountain tops--during the day they came down and then they return to the mountain top," said Rasoul Khan, another resident.
Kunar’s provincial council said that most of the Daesh fighters came from Nangarhar and they called for a crackdown on Daesh in the province.
“They (Daesh fighters) may become a threat, so, to prevent this in the future, the provincial council demands that the government crackdown on them (Daesh) in order to eliminate them like in Nangarhar,” said Malak Sherzamin, a provincial council member.
Although the government takes credit for defeating Daesh in Nangarhar, the Taliban also claims they were involved in defeating the group in that eastern province.
In recent years, Nangarhar was named a key Daesh base in Afghanistan.