Co-founder of Afghan Daesh downplays group’s presence

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Abdul Rahim Muslimdost, one of the founders of the Daesh group in Afghanistan who recently renounced the group and joined the Islamic Emirate, says that Daesh has been suppressed in the country.

In an interview with TOLOnews, Muslimdost suggested that after the withdrawal of foreign troops there was no longer a reason to continue war in Afghanistan, and, therefore, he joined the Islamic Emirate.

“When the media gives reports, those media are being paid by the regional intelligence groups, there are not many people, a few of them remained,” he said.

Muslimdost also said he joined the Islamic Emirate because of the wrong ideology of the Daesh group.

“I tried to refrain from wrongdoing and violence—they didn’t accept it. They didn’t let me display a good image of Islam to the people, they didn’t accept it,” Muslimdost said.

Welcoming Muslimdost’s renouncement of Daesh, the Islamic Emirate called on others to take advantage of the general amnesty announced by the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada.

“He (Muslimdost) admits that if he remained in Daesh, he would deviate from Islam,” said Dr. Basheer, head of the Nangarhar intelligence department.

When the Islamic Emirate swept into power, the Daesh group claimed responsibility for many deadly attacks in several provinces.

The Islamic Emirate has repeatedly deemphasized Daesh’s presence, saying that the group is incapable of posing a serious threat to the country.

Meanwhile, eighteen Daesh members accompanied by 24 women and 31 children surrendered to Afghan forces on Friday in Achin district, Nangarhar province, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The total number of Daesh militants and family members who have surrendered to Afghan forces in the past two weeks is “over 615,” according to the Defense Ministry, which attributes the recent mass surrenders to increased operations against “terrorists” by security forces.

On Thursday, 82 Daesh fighters handed over their weapons and surrendered to Afghan security forces in Achin district of Nangarhar, and were accompanied by 51 women and 96 children.

On Wednesday, ‘at least 300’ Daesh members, including women and children, surrendered to Afghan Special Forces in Nangarhar, according to Commander Waliullah, the Army Special Forces commander in Achin district.

According to Abdulhaq Omeri, a TOLOnews reporter, a number of those 300 Daesh members are Pakistani citizens. But interviews with Daesh members indicate that fighters come from a variety of countries.

“There were Daesh members from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Iran, Kurdistan and Iranian Baluchistan, and they were staying in our guest house, but not for a long time. After having a meal or resting for a night they would move on to other areas,” said Abdul Wahid, 35, a former Daesh member from Afghanistan’s Farah Province, who surrendered among the 300 on Wednesday.—Tolonews

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