According to a report yesterday in Pajhwok Afghan News, “hundreds of foreign militants,” including “Arab, Pakistani, Chechen, and Uzbek fighters,” have entered four districts in the eastern Afghan province of Logar:
Hundreds of foreign militants have sneaked into central Logar province, a gateway to Kabul, officials and residents alleged on Wednesday.
Up to 600 Arab, Pakistani, Chechen and Uzbek fighters have infiltrated into Azra, Baraki Barak, Charkh and Kharwar districts, the deputy police chief acknowledged.
But Col. Khan Sadiq told Pajhwok Afghan News security forces, including the Afghan Local Police (ALP), were capable of dealing with the insurgent threat.
Barak-i-Barak district chief, Eng. Mohammad Rahim, said about 150 foreign rebels had entered the town. Their sole objective was harassing the people and impeding development projects, he added.
His counterpart from Charkh, Abdul Jalil, also complained of an increasing presence of Pakistani and Arab guerrillas in the area. They were trying to fuel unrest in the district, he said.
Barak-i-Barak resident Hamidullah claimed seeing foreign gunmen, who spoke different languages. The suspects freely moved in villages, he continued.
The “Arab, Pakistani, Chechen, and Uzbek fighters” are most certainly from al Qaeda, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, the Haqqani Network, the Caucasus Mujahideen in the Khorasan, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its offshoot, the Islamic Jihad Union — groups that are all known to operate in eastern Afghanistan.
The report from Logar follows another from over a week ago of hundreds of fighters, including some “Arabs” and “Chechens,” attacking police outposts and stations in the Sangin district in Helmand province. Major General Lee Miller, the top general for Regional Command -South in Afghanistan, admitted that some foreign fighters were involved, but refused to go into details. From NBC News .
Miller said the number of Taliban who attacked Sangin was only around 150, but a U.S. military official estimated the number was more than 200.
Those figures include some foreign fighters, Miller said, but when asked of their nationality he said only, “at this time, I’d prefer not to answer that.”
There are other recent instances of “foreign fighters” being spotted on the battlefields of Afghanistan outside of what the US government wants you to believe is the only place al Qaeda fighters have ‘a small haven’: Kunar and Nuristan provinces. For instance, in mid-April, ISAF noted that it captured a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba leader in Ghazni province. And two “Iranian citizens” are reported to have been killed in a recent ISAF airstrike in Farah.
While the report from Logar that 600 foreign fighters are present may be an exaggeration (and then again, it may not be), the fact is that jihadists from al Qaeda and allied groups are conducting operations in Afghanistan, often alongside or while embedded with the Taliban.
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