French and Algerian fighters, some arriving from Syria, have joined the ranks of the Islamic State(ISIS) group in northern Afghanistan, multiple international and Afghan sources have said.
It is the first time that the presence of French IS fighters has been recorded in Afghanistan, and comes as analysts suggested foreigners may be heading for the war-torn country after being driven from Syria and Iraq.
“A number” of Algerian and French nationals entered the largely IS-controlled district of Darzab in northern Jowzjan province in November, said district governor Baaz Mohammad Dawar.
At least two women were among the arrivals, who were travelling with a translator from Tajikistan as well as Chechens and Uzbeks, Dawar added.
European and Afghan security sources in Kabul confirmed Dawar’s claim that French citizens were among the fighters — though, one cautioned, “we do not know how many there are”.
Three of the Algerians seen in Darzab are believed to have been in Syria and Iraq, Dawar said, suggesting they may link Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K), the group’s franchise in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the main group in the Middle East.
When it first emerged in 2015, IS-K overran large parts of eastern Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, though initially its part in the Afghan conflict was overshadowed by the Taliban.
The jihadists have since spread north, including in Jowzjan on the border with Uzbekistan, and carried out multiple devastating attacks in the capital Kabul.
Mohammad Raza Ghafoori, the Jowzjan provincial governor’s spokesman, said French-speaking Caucasian men and women had been seen training IS fighters in Darzab.
He cited reports saying that around 50 children, some as young as 10, have also been recruited by the fighters.
Darzab residents told AFP that roughly 200 foreigners had set up camp just a few hundred metres (yards) from the village of Bibi Mariam.
One local man who gave his name as Hajji said the fighters were of several nationalities, including French, and were tall, aged in their late 20s, and dressed in military clothing.
“They ride their (motor) bikes, go to the border and come back, but they talk to nobody,” he said.
About Article Author
Latest Nigeria News
- INEC to feed police with N6bn in 2019 polls
- Experts worry over rising cyber security poverty line in Nigeria
- Driver crushes LASTMA officer
- GTBank to increase loan book by 10%
- Zinedine Zidane is replacing one of the Manchester Clubs
- Student Who Scored 364 In JAMB Receives N5m Cash (Photo)
- Presidency Speaks On Buhari Extending 10-day London Vacation
- SARS Caught "Extorting Passengers" Despite Osinbajo's Order
- Female Corper Knocked Down By Reckless Driver In Lagos
- Story Of Abuja Wild Forest Where "All Kinds Of Things" Happen
- Oil prices down by 13% over growing US crude inventories
- MTN secures N200bn loan from Diamond bank, 11 others
- Pastor's Wife Attacked For Brutalizing Her Little Maid (Maid)
- Kemi Adeosun's Certificate: SERAP Drags NYSC Boss To Court
- Fraudster Impersonating Nollywood Actor To Defraud People Arrested In Lagos
- 2019: Tinubu tackles Obasanjo
- Police lost 15 operatives to Bandits in two months; families demand compensation
- Investors panic as prices of Bitcoin, others plummet
- Nigeria’s inflation drops again in July
- Update On How 35 Died As Bridge Collapsed In Italy (Photos)
- Buhari To Take Action On New DSS Boss and Daura
- Thief Arrested While Preparing Pepper Soup With Stolen Goat
- The Leadership In Nigeria Today Has Lost Focus - IBB
- 2019: I’m not desperate to be President – Atiku
- Tension in Abuja: US Embassy shuts Visa, Consular Services indefinitely
- Odili, Ekpu @ 70: Of patriarchs and their progenies
- Minister’s certificate forgery scam: SERAP sues NYSC over failure to publish Adeosun’s ‘exemption certificate’
- Saraki, Dogara Reveal Why They're Not Reconvening NASS
- Man Who Abducted Lagos Schoolgirl Who's Sold Into Pros-titution Arrested, Opens Up
- Uber Driver Nabbed For Beating Up 'Runs Girl' In Lagos After S*x
- 2019: I’m Qualified, Not Desperate To Be President - Atiku
- Man Steals Company’s Products To Pay Medical Bill Of Wife
- SARAKI's TIME IS UP - Oshiomhole insists, gives strong condition
- Hacks For Dealing With Smelly Feet
- Female Corper Cries As Political Thugs Kidnap Her For Refusing To Rig Election
- Oba Of Benin Arrives Abuja In His Rolls Royce and Private Jet
- 2019: Presidency Reacts To "Pressure" On Buhari Not To Run
- Lecturer Sent To Prison For R*ping His Wife Sister's Daughter
- Saraki's Refusal To Reconvene NASS Generates Serious Tension
- Woman Who Survived Rivers Boat Accident: "I Have Nightmares Every Night"