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ISIS shifting base to Afghanistan, poses threat to South Asian countries including India: Iran Minister

Despite Iran's anti-Islamic State stand, IS operatives in India have been using the country to escape to neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan

Days after ISIS chief-terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed during the raid conducted by the US military in northwest Syria, Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an interview to India Today that the terror organisation is shifting its base to Afghanistan.

He said that the recent attacks which were carried out in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan border were done by ISIS while operating out of Afghanistan. The deadly gun battle left at over a dozen people dead.

Zarif said that his government is in regular touch with the Indian agencies reprising about the updates of ISIS. ISIS shifting base to Afghanistan also poses a threat to other South Asian countries like Pakistan, Russia and China. “This (fight against terrorism) is an issue that can unite all of us,” Zarif said, asserting all these countries need to unite to fight the threat emanating from the terror group.

Read: ISIS terrorist from Kerala killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan, was ‘missing’ since 2017

He added that ISIS’ revival and its move of base from Syria to Afghanistan is a matter of great concern for all. Zarif added that not just his country but entire region will face the threat with this.

Indian youth have also been vulnerable as hundreds have joined the terror organisation. As reported by India Today, Indian agencies believe that key areas in Afghanistan were on the radar after 21 youth from Kerala went missing in 2016 and later joined IS. However, despite Iran’s anti-Islamic State stand, IS operatives in India have been using the country to escape to neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had uncovered a modus operandi where it found that over two dozen IS operatives, mostly from Kerala, used Iran as a route to hoodwink Indian agencies. Between 2016 and 2018, several IS operatives have tried to dodge the Indian authorities in a similar fashion.

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