Islamic State (ISIS/IS)-linked jihadists in northern Afghanistan reportedly decapitated a 14-year-old child for providing nourishment to members of the country’s U.S.-backed security forces.
Referring to the beheading, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press (KP) reports:
Local officials confirmed on Tuesday that the incident has [taken] place in the vicinity of Darzab district [in northern Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province], home to several ISIS militants.
Provincial security chief Abdul Hafiz Khashi said the child, believed to be 14-year-old, was beheaded by ISIS militants because he was taking food and water to the security forces in the area.
Khashi further added that the victim has been identified as x and was helping the security forces voluntarily.
ISIS has been linked to several beheadings in Afghanistan.
Despite a U.S.-assisted campaign against ISIS by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), the jihadist group has expanded its presence beyond eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, ISIS’s primary stronghold in the region, to the northern Jawzjan province where it has also encountered resistance from its Taliban rivals.
Under U.S. President Donald Trump, the American military has dramatically intensified airstrike operations against jihadist groups in Afghanistan, namely the Taliban and the region’s Islamic State branch, known as the Khorasan province (IS-K).
“Afghan and U.S. special operations coupled with U.S. airstrikes continue to decimate the heart of IS-K in [Jawzjan province’s] Darzab,” notes KP. “Afghan and U.S. forces have killed 90 IS-K fighters this year, a majority were eliminated in Darzab.”
As of September 2017, ISIS had spread its jihadi tentacles into seven provinces, according to the United Nations.
In addition to U.S.-backed ANDSF forces, the Taliban has been trying to push ISIS out of northern Jawzjan province. The clashes between the two groups have reportedly displaced thousands of civilians.
Voice of America reported in February:
Initially based in southern parts of eastern Nangarhar province, IS’s Khorasan branch, also known as ISIS-K, emerged in early 2015 in the mountainous areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan to cover the two states and “other nearby territories.”
The group has since been trying to expand and find inroads to other parts of the country, including northern Afghanistan.
As the Islamic State terror group is trying to expand from its traditional enclave of eastern Afghanistan to other parts of the country, Taliban insurgents are blocking them, sparking periodic and deadly clashes between both groups.
According to various news reports, ISIS established a presence in northern Afghanistan late last year.