Taliban, IS militants clash in Nangarhar

ISLAMABAD - An intense gun-battle erupted between the fighters of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Islamic State in Nangarhar province on Tuesday that left several militants injured.
According to the sources, the clashes started Tuesday morning when the fighters of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Afghan Taliban) attacked the newly emerged group of militants representing Islamic State in Nangarhar province. Recently, Commander Qari Gulzar who hails from Pekha village in Nazyano district of Nangarhar announced his allegiance to Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi-led Islamic State (IS) also known as Daish. According to sources, the decision had offended Mullah Omar-led militants in the area.
‘The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan tried to convince Hafiz Gulzar to review his decision. Not only he remained stuck by his decision but also he invited other militants in the area to join Islamic State’, said Taliban sources and they added ‘the differences finally led to gun-battle’. Some Pakistani Taliban, hiding in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, tried to make a patch between the two warring groups but in vain. ‘The clashes could further intensify,’ the Taliban sources said. Despite the spread of Islamic State in Arab countries and rest of the world, the group is finding it difficult to gain a ‘foothold’ in Pak-Afghan region.  Majority of militants in this region considers Mullah Omar as Ameer ul Mu'mineen while Al-Baghdadi has also announced himself as the caliph and his followers are repeatedly appealing the Muslims especially the Islamic militants to swear allegiance to their leader. It is one of the reasons that Daish is so far unable to attract more followers on both sides of the Duran line.  Shahidullah Shahid, the ex-spokesperson of  TTP was the first to publically announce his allegiance to Al-Baghdadi along with other five militant commanders in Oct 2014.
The other commanders include Saeed Khan, the ex-commander of TTP in Orakzai Agency, Daulat Khan (Kurram Agency), Fateh Gul Zaman (Khyber Agency), Mufti Hussain (Peshawar) and Khalid Mansoor (Hangu). In the last week of the January, IS announced the formation of Shura for Khurasan (Pak-Afghan region) and appointed Muhammad Saeed Khan as governor of Diash in this geographical region. Mullah Rauf Khadim, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee was named as his deputy in Khurasan who was killed during an air strike in Helmand province of Afghanistan this week.

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