ISIS-K Vs Taliban: Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Attacks In Afghanistan's Jalalabad

The ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the weekend attacks against the Taliban in the Afghan city of Jalalabad.

The terrorist group claimed the attacks in two statements carried by the group's propaganda arm Amaq. It claimed three separate bomb attacks targeting three Taliban vehicles in Jalalabad on Saturday, and another bomb attack on Sunday on a Taliban vehicle.

"More than 35 Taliban militia members were killed or wounded, in a series of explosions that took place," the militant group said, referring to blasts on Saturday and Sunday.

Explosion Targeting Taliban in Jalalabad

Sources had told Reuters on Saturday at least three people were killed and about 20 were wounded in blasts in Jalalabad.

Witnesses told news agency AP that Sunday's blast targeted a vehicle of the border police, which is now run by the Taliban.

At least seven people have been killed and some 30 wounded in a series of blasts in Jalalabad and the country's capital, Kabul, Taliban sources told Al Jazeera.

Among those killed or injured were women, children and security personnel.

Jalalabad blasts
Taliban members inspect an area near the site of a blast in Jalalabad Twitter

Saturday's blast was the first deadly attack in Afghanistan since the US withdrew its troops from the country.

Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, said a bombing Sunday in Jalalabad targeted a Taliban vehicle, killing one child and injuring two people, among them a Taliban member.

"We have started investigations into the incident to reach the culprits," Karimi said, according to The Washington Post.

ISIS-K vs. Taliban

Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province, the heartland of the Islamic State's Afghanistan branch. It is 80 miles from Kabul. Although both IS and the Taliban are hardline Sunni Islamist militants, they have differed on the minutiae of religion and strategy.

Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri
ISIS-K released identity and photo of its suicide bomber Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri. Twitter

According to a media report, ISIS-K is carrying out violent attacks against the Taliban as it wants to distinguish its brand from the Taliban's, and challenge the new rulers' ability to govern the country. As part of a recruitment drive, ISIS-K has attempted to tarnish the Taliban by depicting them as 'U.S. collaborators.' The Taliban and U.S. forces previously found common ground fighting the Islamic State affiliate.

ISIS-K considers the Taliban its rival and represents Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Jalalabad attacks comes at a time when the Taliban and the Haqqanis are at loggerheads with reports doing rounds that Khalil-ur-Rahman Haqqani had punched Mullah Baradar in the recent fighting between the two groups.

ISIS-K also claimed responsibility for the bombing at Kabul airport on August 26 that killed more than 180 people, including 13 US military personnel.