CAIRO – The extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombings targeting Taliban vehicles in eastern Afghanistan.
The claim, published Sunday evening on the media arm of the militant group, the Aamaq news agency, signals a growing threat to the Taliban from their longtime rivals.
At least eight people, including several Taliban fighters, were killed in attacks on Sunday and Saturday in the provincial town of Jalalabad, an IS stronghold.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in a blitz last month, invading the capital Kabul as the United States and NATO were in the final stages of withdrawing their troops. The last foreign soldiers left on August 30.
The Taliban now face major economic and security challenges in attempting to rule Afghanistan, and an accelerated campaign of IS attacks will further complicate these efforts. The Taliban and IS extremists were enemies before foreign troops left Afghanistan.
Both groups subscribe to a harsh interpretation of Islam, but the Taliban has focused on taking control of Afghanistan, while ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan and elsewhere are calling for global jihad.
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– Afghan survivors of wandering US drone strike seek investigation
– The Taliban replace the ministry of women by “virtuous” authorities
– Pentagon backs down and calls deadly Kabul strike a mistake
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KABUL, Afghanistan – The acting mayor of the Afghan capital said many female workers in the city have been ordered to stay at home by the country’s new Taliban leadership.
Hamdullah Namony told reporters on Sunday that only women who could not be replaced by men were allowed to report to work. He says that includes skilled workers in design and engineering departments as well as female public toilet attendants.
Namony’s comments were another sign that the Taliban are carrying out their harsh take on Islam, including restrictions on women in public life, despite their initial promises of tolerance and inclusion. During their previous regime in the 1990s, the Taliban denied girls and women access to school and work.
The mayor said that a final decision regarding the employees of the Kabul municipal services is still pending and that they will receive their salaries in the meantime.
He says that before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last month, just under a third of the city’s roughly 3,000 employees were women who worked in all departments.