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RFE/RL Gandhara

Hundreds In Afghan Jails Are Members Of Islamic State, Afghan Security Chief Says

April 28, 2021

The head of the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security (NDS) says there are 408 members of the Islamic State (IS) from 14 countries in Afghan government prisons.

Ahmad Zia Saraj made the announcement on April 27, saying talks are under way with the 14 countries to find a solution without specifying what that meant.

He urged the international community not to abandon Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism.

Saraj said the overwhelming majority of the IS members -- 299 of the 408 -- are from Pakistan, explaining that as Daesh was formed 60 percent were Pakistani nationals.

"That's why their number is large," he said.

The second-highest number of prisoners held in Afghanistan who are members of IS are from Uzbekistan. There are 37 from that country, 13 from Tajikistan, and 12 from Kyrgyzstan.

Saraj said the number of Russian nationals among the prisoners identified as members of IS is five. The number from China is 16.

The other IS members in Afghan jails are from Jordan, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Algeria, and the Maldives. Each of those countries has fewer than 10 nationals in Afghan jails who belong to IS.

Based on reporting by Radio Free Afghanistan

Source: https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/ afghan-jails-islamic-state- militants/31227151.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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