The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan Saturday that killed 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, President Ashraf Ghani said, in what appears to be the first major attack by the jihadists in the country. Ghani’s government has repeatedly raised the ominous prospect of IS making inroads into Afghanistan, though the group that has captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq has never formally acknowledged having a presence in the country.
Who claimed responsibility for horrific attack in Nangarhar today? The Taliban did not claim responsibility for the attack, Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
President Ghani, on a visit to Badakhshan
The Taliban have seen defections to the group in recent months, with some self-styled IS insurgents voicing their disaffection with their one-eyed supreme leader Mullah Omar, who has not been seen since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Saturday’s carnage came as Afghanistan braces for what is expected to be a bloody push by the Taliban – still the most potent threat to the government – at the start of the spring fighting season. However, the Taliban swiftly issued a strong condemnation of the attack and denied responsibility – as it often does for assaults with large civilian casualties.