Embassy, Mosque Attacks Fuel Fears ISIS Bringing Iraq War to Afghanistan

Embassy, Mosque Attacks Fuel Fears ISIS Bringing Iraq War to Afghanistan by Hamid Shalizi - Reuters

Attacks on the Iraqi embassy and a Shi'ite mosque in Afghanistan have reinforced fears that Islamic State militants are seeking to bring the group's Middle East conflict to Central Asia, though evidence of fighters relocating from Iraq and Syria remains elusive.

Islamic State said it carried out Monday's attack against the embassy in Kabul, which began with a suicide bomber blowing himself up at the compound's main gate, allowing gunmen to enter the building and battle security forces.

The group also claimed responsibility for an attack Tuesday that killed at least 29 and wounded more than 63 at a Shi'ite mosque in Herat, an area in western Afghanistan that had previously escaped Islamic State's sectarian attacks.

The choice of target in the Iraqi embassy attack, three weeks after the fall of Mosul to Iraqi troops, appeared to back up repeated warnings from Afghan security officials that, as Islamic State fighters were pushed out of Syria and Iraq, they risked showing up in Afghanistan.

"This year we're seeing more new weapons in the hands of the insurgents and an increase in numbers of foreign fighters," said Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri. "They are used in front lines because they are war veterans." …

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