KABUL- Afghan National Army (ANA) Ground Forces Commander General Murad Ali Murad has acknowledged the IS ( Islamic State) fighters presence in Afghanistan, a local newspaper the Daily Outlook wrote in its Sunday edition.

"During his visit to the northern Balkh province General Murad acknowledged the IS fighters, who have seized some major parts of Iraqand Syria, were trying to establish their centers in Afghanistan," the paper wrote in its report published in the front page.

"Masked men active in Zabul and Helmand provinces have raised black flags and are trying to spread their activities to northern parts but I say they are the same enemies who are a threat to human beings," General Murad said, according to the newspaper.

Citing General Murad, the Daily Outlook added that there had been clashes between IS and Taliban fighters in Helmand and Zabul provinces. Meantime, deputy to defense ministry spokesman General Dawlat Waziri in talks with a local media on Sunday downplayed the IS fighters presence in Afghanistan, saying Afghan national security forces are capable enough to defeat terrorists. "We haven't received information to prove IS fighters’ presence" the officer said.

However, he added "the enemies can change their name to al- Qaida, to Taliban or Daesh (IS). It makes no difference for us; we will defeat them as we have defeated al-Qaida and Taliban."