2015-10-08 17:59:00

Number of Islamic State members in Afghanistan reaches 3,500 over past year - Russian diplomat

Moscow, October 8, Interfax - The number of Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan has reached 3,500 people over the past year, says Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special presidential envoy for Afghanistan and director of the Russian Foreign Ministry 2nd Asian Department.

"ISIL rising up in Afghanistan constitutes the priority danger. Just think about it: ISIL really appeared in Afghanistan a year ago and there are already 3,500 people under its arms plus sympathizers, who can turn into militants very quickly," Kabulov said at an international conference on Afghanistan on Thursday.

It is noteworthy that the Islamic State's tactic in Afghanistan copies its actions in Iraq, Syria, Libya and some other African states, he said.

"They find the most authoritative local leader who has rivals. He is offered cooperation and assistance in eliminating the rivals. This is done. When it's over, he himself is killed. And then the whole district, province, or a larger territory falls into ISIL's hands. Virtually without fighting, ISIL is expanding the area of its influence in a creeping way," Kabulov said.