Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Kabul [Afghanistan], December 21 (ANI): The attack on Chinese nationals in a Kabul hotel was the direct consequence of ISIS-K's strategy to destabilize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.

The report quoted Valle Riccardo, co-founder of The Khorasan Diary, a website focused on tracking militant groups, as saying that: "ISIS-K is trying to prevent the Taliban [from making the] transition from an insurgency to a proper government."The Islamic State - Khorasan Province (ISIS-K's), is an affiliate of the Islamic State militant group active in South Asia and Central Asia.

ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the December 12 bombing and shooting at a Kabul hotel frequently visited by Chinese diplomats and businessmen. According to ISIS-K, its main targets were Chinese communists and Taliban elements.

This comes as the first such attack on Chinese interests since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.

Post the attack, China's foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, asked Chinese nationals to immediately leave Afghanistan. He said five Chinese nationals were wounded in the attack.

"The bombing occurred only a day after Chinese Ambassador Wang Yu met with Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai to discuss security and request more attention to the protection of Beijing's embassy in Kabul," reported Nikkei Asia.

Valle Riccardo, as quoted by Nikkei Asia, said: "ISIS-K views China as one of the masters of the Taliban, particularly because of its ability to 'buy' the Taliban's support in exchange for international recognition. One of the most recent books published [by ISIS-K] this year criticized China, labelling it as the best friend of the Taliban, who prevent even Afghans in Afghanistan [from showing] their support for Uyghurs."Recently, five ISIS members were killed following clashes with Taliban forces in the Herat province of Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported.

The clashes took place in the Haji Abbass area of Herat province's police district 12, the report stated.

Meanwhile, the Taliban also allegedly killed 5 members of ISIS in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar in a "special operation."Previously, in a meeting with European Union's special envoy for Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson, the Taliban said ISIS has been defeated and is no longer capable of carrying out attacks However, blasts and attacks continue to be carried out with impunity in Afghanistan.

According to Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who spoke with an EU official, ISIS and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan "have now been struck, they lost their ability to resist and attack", Khaama Press reported.

The international community is concerned about the return of global terrorist organisations in the aftermath of the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by the US in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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