Taliban Seeks to ‘Join Hands’ with IS as the Group’s Leader ‘Visits’ Helmand

(Last Updated On: October 8, 2017)

The Taliban leader Hebatullah Akhunzada recently have visited southern Helmand province, where he met with the group’s commanders, a senior Afghan general said Sunday.

The aim of the Taliban leader’s visit was to order his fellows of changing their insurgency tactics, following the U.S. new Afghanistan strategy that increased the air raids on the group, said General Abdul Raziq, the Police Chief of southern Kandahar province.

Raziq said that the Taliban leader arrived to Helmand via Bahramcha of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, less than two weeks ago, adding that the leader met with the group’s commanders in Musa Qala district.

“Mullah Hebatullah was accompanied with Pakistani officials and members of Quetta Shura, spent two days in Musa Qala district,” Raziq said. “The meeting was aimed to agree that the Taliban’s objective is the same as of Daesh and al-Qaeda and it should not make trouble for them, but to work with them.”

According to Raziq, in the meeting there was no representative of Islamic State (Daesh). 

The Taliban confirmed its leader’s trip to Helmand but rejected the claims regarding the group’s willingness to join hands with Islamic State.

By Shakib Mahmud & Baralai Rahimi 

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