Tuesday February 20, 2018
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Turf war between IS, Taliban escalates in Afghanistan

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image courtesy-www.indiandefencereview.com
image courtesy-www.indiandefencereview.com

 

London: Islamic State militants have executed three fighters accused of defecting to the Taliban as a brutal turf war escalates between the rival organizations in Afghanistan.

The killings come days after the Taliban sent a letter to IS warning them to stay out of the country, saying there was room for only “one flag, one leadership” in their fight to re-establish strict Islamist rule, a Daily Mail report said.

One video posted on pro-IS accounts shows a line of armed fighters standing behind two kneeling men who are shot dead by one of the militants with a handgun.

In a separate execution, pictures appeared to show another alleged defector being beheaded.

The groups declared war against each other in April after the Afghan Taliban branded IS’s self-declared caliphate illegitimate and refused to declare allegiance to its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

IS responded by launching recruitment drives deep into Taliban territory, allowing them to expand rapidly — even reportedly replacing the Taliban as the dominant controlling force in one district.

The warning letter from the Taliban came amid heavy fighting this week in eastern Afghanistan between the Taliban and breakaway factions who now swear allegiance to IS, which in the past year seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

The entry of IS, while its numbers remain small, has complicated Afghanistan’s already escalating war following the withdrawal of most foreign troops at the end of last year.

The letter addressed to Al-Baghdadi said the Taliban “based on religious brotherhood asks for your goodwill and doesn’t want to see interference in its affairs”.

The Taliban have fought to topple Afghanistan’s Western-backed government since the US-sponsored military intervention that toppled their own five-year rule in 2001. 

The letter to Al-Baghdadi, signed by Taliban political committee chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, shows the insurgents also were worried.

“Jihad against American invaders and their slaves in Afghanistan must be under one flag, one leadership and one command,” it said.

The letter also appeared intended to dissuade other Taliban fighters considering switching sides.

Besides Arabic, it was written in Dari, Pashto and Urdu languages that are spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan and was distributed by an official Taliban spokesperson.

(IANS)

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Iran President Gearing Up For His India Visit To Discuss Trade And Policies

The visit will be used to discuss trade and policies between the two countries

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will discuss trade policies and other issues during this visit of his. http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will discuss trade policies and other issues during this visit of his. http://www.telegraph.co.uk
  • Iran president Hassan Rouhanito come on a three-day visit to India
  • The visit will be used to discuss trade and policies between the two countries
  • Business traders of both the countries will do a meeting soon too

Iran President Hassan Rouhani will come on a three-day visit to India starting Thursday at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the External Affairs Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Modi and Rouhani will hold a bilateral meeting here on Saturday, during the course of which both sides would review the progress achieved in bilateral relations and also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, according to a ministry statement.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit India soon. Photo Credit: observer.com
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit India soon. Photo Credit: observer.com

Rouhani will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.

According to Iranian news agency Irna, Rouhani will first arrive in Hyderabad on Thursday where he will meet the city’s Muslim Ulemas. He will also meet Iranian nationals, including students, residing in India.

Citing the Iran President’s deputy chief of staff for communications and information Parviz Esmaeili, Irna said following the delegation-level talks on Saturday, both sides will sign a number of agreements.

Also Read: Iran Accuses CIA for spreading ‘Fake News’ about Tehran’s support to Al Qaeda

Business leaders of both sectors are also scheduled to hold a joint meeting to review cooperation opportunities and capacities, according to Esmaeili.

This will be Rouhani’s first visit to India after he assumed office in 2013.

It comes after Modi’s visit to Tehran in 2016 during which a trilateral agreement on transit and transport was signed between India, Iran and Afghanistan.

The first phase of the port was inaugurated by President Rouhani in December last year, a little over a month after the first consignment of wheat from India to Afghanistan was sent via this facility.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already talked to the Indian
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already talked to the Indian
President Ram Nath Kovind. Wikimedia Commons

The port opens a new strategic transit route between Iran, India, Afghanistan and other Central Asian nations bypassing Pakistan.

India-Iran bilateral trade stood at $12.89 billion in 2016-17, according to figures provided by the External Affairs Ministry. IANS

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