Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
February 12, 2016
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has suffered many casualties and is “on the run” in Afghanistan.
Ghani told the annual Munich Security Conference on February 12 that IS militants “have lost 150 people in Afghanistan.”
Ghani also said that an IS-operated radio station in eastern Afghanistan has been “silenced.”
According to U.S. and Afghan officials, the so-called Voice of the Caliphate radio near the Pakistani border was destroyed by two air strikes on February 1.
The radio had been broadcasting the IS’s extremist message across eastern Nangarhar Province since late 2015.
Afghan officials said the attack also killed eight people who worked for the radio and its website.
IS is a relatively new force in Afghanistan. U.S. officials believe it has some 1,000 to 3,000 members in eastern Afghanistan and was attempting to establish a base of operations in Nangarhar.
Concerned about the group’s increasingly global reach, U.S. President Barack Obama granted the U.S. military broad authority to strike IS in Afghanistan in January.
On February 11, a U.S. military spokesman said the United States has expanded its air strikes against IS in eastern Afghanistan.
Officials said 20 strikes have been launched there in the last three weeks.
With reporting by Reuters and AP