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Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Hand Over Detained IS Leader


Afghan spy agency NDS released this image of Abdullah Orakzai, a Pakistani national also known as Aslam Farooqi, the regional chief of Islamic State. (NDS photo)

Pakistan demanded Thursday that neighboring Afghanistan hand over the captured regional Islamic State chief for plotting terrorist attacks against Pakistani targets.

A foreign ministry statement said it summoned the Afghan ambassador to convey Islamabad’s “views with regard to the arrest of ISIS-K leader, Aslam Farooqi, by the Afghan authorities on 5 April 2020.”

The statement used an acronym for Islamic State’s regional affiliate, known as IS Khorasan Province (ISKP), operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and surrounding areas.

“It was underscored to the ambassador that since Aslam Farooqi was involved in anti-Pakistan activities in Afghanistan, he should be handed over to Pakistan for further investigations,” the ministry said. It went on to emphasize that Islamabad and Kabul should “coordinate actions against the menace of terrorism.”

There was no immediate reaction from Afghan officials.

The Afghan spy agency announced last Saturday it had arrested Farooqi, also identified as Abdullah Orakzai, along with 19 key operatives of his terrorist group. But it did not say when or where the operation was conducted, noting Farooqi is a Pakistani militant.

IS militants regularly carry out attacks on both sides of the long border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing scores of people in recent years.

On Thursday, the terrorist group claimed responsibly for an early morning rocket attack at the U.S.-run Bagram airfield, north of the Afghan capital.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission said five rockets were fired at the base but there were no casualties or injuries. It noted Afghan authorities are investigating the incident.

Last month, ISKP conducted a suicide attack against a minority Sikh place of worship in Kabul, which killed at least 25 worshippers.

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