Scores of IS members surrender in 'defeated' Afghanistan stronghold

Scores of IS members surrender in 'defeated' Afghanistan stronghold
Ninety-three members of IS turned themselves in to authorities a day after Afghanistan security announced the group had been defeated in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
2 min read
12 November, 2019
Local authorities are expecting a string of surrenders after 'defeating' IS in Nangarhar [Getty]
Scores of members of the Islamic State group in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar turned themselves in to local authorities, it was announced on Tuesday.

Their surrender comes a day after Afghan security forces announced that the militant group had been "defeated" in the province, in which the group had sought to establish a stronghold.

Local authorities said that 93 people, including men, women and children claiming to belong to the militant group, surrendered to Afghan government forces.

At least 13 of those surrendered were of Pakistani nationality, local media reported.

The spokesman for Nangarhar's government, Attaullah Khogyani, said in a statement that the individuals would not be identified in the media, indicating there would be a string of surrenders of militant strongholds in the country following Monday’s defeat.

"They are coming in big numbers," Khogyani said previously on Sunday, after a group of 32 IS fighters surrendered to government forces the day before.

Monday's announcement comes after the militants first burst into Afghanistan's conflict in 2015, when they overran large parts of Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, near the Pakistan border.

In the years since, they have claimed responsibility for a string of horrific bombings across Afghanistan, including at a wedding hall in Kabul, and have been continually attacked by US, Afghan and even Taliban forces.

IS "were defeated in Nangarhar, their centres were destroyed", acting interior minister Massoud Andarabi told reporters in Jalalabad, the Nangarhar provincial capital, amid ongoing operations against the militants. 

"We will soon destroy their last centres. With the people's help, we will completely eliminate them. Some of their smaller groups are surrendering, other small groups will be eliminated in other provinces."

He went on to say that IS were being "completely defeated" in Afghanistan.

US Forces-Afghanistan, which closely monitors the IS footprint in Afghanistan, declined to comment, referring a query back to the interior ministry.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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