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Afghan President Condemns Beheading of Islamic State Fighters

Afghan militia men raise their weapons as they stand guard in the Achin district of Nangarhar province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2015.

Afghanistan's president has condemned the beheading of four Islamic State fighters by militiamen loyal to a prominent lawmaker, and has ordered those responsible to be brought to justice, a government spokesman told VOA on Monday.

The amputated heads of the IS fighters were displayed on public roads in Nangarhar province Sunday. Human Rights Watch condemned the killings and called for accountability.

The militia members, loyal to Zahir Qadir, the deputy speaker of parliament, have been fighting with IS-affiliated gunmen in the region for weeks.

IS fighters recently captured four militia members and beheaded them, prompting the militia to respond by killing four IS fighters in Achin district, according to local officials.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered a judicial probe.

"Besides the fact that Afghans dislike terror groups such as IS, they also do not approve of extrajudicial and outlawed acts," a government spokesperson told VOA's Afghan service.

Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission also condemned the "extrajudicial killing" and called for accountability.

In addition, a number of Afghan politicians and lawmakers condemned the beheadings. Abdul Jabar Qahraman, a lawmaker from southern Helmand, told VOA the killings are against international and religious principles and "whoever performs such an act must be condemned."

Qadir last month accused the country's national security adviser of providing support to IS militants in Afghanistan, a claim strongly denied by the Afghan government. He is said to be attempting to gain control of a 1,000-man regional police force being formed by the government to fight IS.

Qadir was a strong supporter of Ghani in the 2014 presidential election. His father, a former cabinet minister, was assassinated in 2002 in Kabul.

Various parts of Nangarhar have recently seen an increasing presence of IS fighters.