The Afghan security forces have raided a key hideout belonging to terror groups Haqqani Network and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) that was responsible for bloody attacks including one on Kabul’s gurdwara that had killed 28 Sikh worshippers on March 25.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, five terrorists belonging to two terrorist groups have been killed and eight terrorists have been nabbed by Afghanistan security forces as they raided two hideouts of the group in and around Kabul, the National Directorate of Security said.
The NDS said the joint centre destroyed by its forces was controlled by Sanaullah, who was responsible for recruitment for the ISKP and was the urban coordinator of Haqqani Network in Kabul.
The two Pakistan proxies in Afghanistan – Aslam Farooqui led ISKP and the Taliban deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani-led Haqqani network, which had often targeted each other in the past had taken some steps to work together recently. The two groups had jointly carried out attacks on Gurudwara in Kabul in March.
Farooqi was arrested by the NDS last month in raids carried out weeks after terrorists had opened fire at Guru Har Rai Gurdwara in Kabul’s old city and had murdered 28 worshippers in a brutal attack on the Sikh shrine.
The NDS has also blamed the joint cell for the rocket attacks in March on the inauguration ceremony of President Ashraf Ghani and the Bagram airbase, the US military’s largest base in Afghanistan. The joint terror cell had also launched rockets in the Shahid Mazari Mosque where many members of the ethnic Hazara community had gathered to mark the anniversary of the death of a Hazara leader. More than 30 people were killed in the terror attacks.
Taliban attacked on the behest of Pakistan
The statement from the NDS regarding the joint operation by the terrorist groups fits with New Delhi’s assessment that the attack on the gurdwara was ordered by the Taliban at the behest of Pakistani deep state with the larger motive of driving out India from Afghanistan.
According to intelligence reports, Taliban, which had stepped up attacks on Afghan security forces after the United States signed a troop withdrawal agreement on February 29, may carry out more attacks on Indian interests and religious minorities.
The security experts in Delhi believe that an arrangement between the Taliban-linked Haqqani network and the ISKP meant that even if the Taliban agrees to end violence, it could use other groups such as Aslam Farooqui’s ISKP to keep sending the rockets via its allies.
Kabul Gurudwara attacks
Four terrorists armed with AK-47, a part of the strike team of the group of terrorists, had attacked the Gurudwara on March 25 in Kabul. The terror attack had left 27 dead and at least 15 injured. One suicide bomber had detonated himself at the entrance after three ISIS terrorists stormed the shrine in the Shorbazar area Wednesday morning.
According to intelligence agencies, the terrorist attack was a part of Pakistan’s efforts to drive out India from Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the US forces. With the USA gone, the objective is to use the strategic space offered by Afghanistan to renew their Jihad in Kashmir.