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Islamic State claims responsibility for recent string of bombings in Afghanistan

International community is watching to see if Taliban can keep violent extremists in check, prevent reemergence of country as terrorist stronghold and staging ground.

Updated: September 20, 2021 - 4:48pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a slew of roadside bombs in Afghanistan that killed numerous Taliban leaders. 

According to The Associated Press, a string of bombs went off in the city of Jalalabad, killing at least eight people, including Taliban militants. Jalalabad is considered an extremist stronghold, giving refuge to terrorists associated with the Islamic State.

The Taliban is under pressure from the U.S. and its allies to prove that it can suppress extremist groups like ISIS and prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming an Islamist terrorist haven and training ground.

The latest series of attacks comes as the Taliban attempts to govern a country that was has been battered by war for decades. The Afghan economy is in a free fall after numerous nongovernmental organizations fled the country following the fall of its civilian government. 

The Biden administration nurses hopes that a more moderate and mature Taliban government than the brutal theocratic regime that ruled from 1996-2001 can sideline hardliners within the movement.  

For now, Taliban forces far outnumber IS militants, but more could flock to the latter's ranks if the Taliban doesn't provide solutions to current domestic problems such as poverty and food shortages.

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