Islamic State militants executed a 12-year-old boy on charges of helping local police in northern Afghanistan, according to a senior Afghan government official who spoke to VOA.
The boy was accused of supplying food and water to an Afghan local police check post in northern Jawzjan province.
“The kid was apparently helping his brother-in-law, who is a member of (the) Afghan local police, fighting against militants in Kota-e-Osti district,” Lutfullah Azizi, Jawzjan province governor, told VOA. “It is not the first time that IS militants are committing atrocities against civilians. They have previously killed women in summary executions.”
IS has been active in its stronghold of eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, where it first emerged in 2015. Over the years, the group has expanded its presence to pockets of the north as well, particularly in Jawzjan province.
Recruiting in Jawzjan
Provincial officials told VOA that the group has been recruiting in northern Jawzjan.
“IS group has been recruiting men and women in Qosh Tipa and Darzab districts. They are training women to fight,” Babar Eshchi Jawzjan, provincial council chief, told VOA.
Joint Afghan and U.S. special forces operations are targeting IS militants in the northern Jawzjan and eastern Nangarhar provinces.
In April 2017, more than 20 militants, including Qari Hikmatullah, an Uzbek national and IS-K commander in northern Afghanistan, were killed in Jawzjan, according to U.S. officials.
In Nangarhar, at least 19 IS members were reportedly killed by Afghan special forces Monday night in the Dara Noor, Bati Koot, Deh Bala, Roudat and Heska Mena districts, according to the Bakhtar News Agency, Afghanistan's official news agency.
Verge of defeat
Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Kabul, said in a statement issued on Saturday that IS is on the verge of defeat in northern Afghanistan because of the ongoing joint Afghan and U.S operations against the terror group.
“The recent Afghan and U.S. special operations raid will lead to the tactical defeat of IS-K in northern Afghanistan,” Nicholson said.
Afghan and U.S. forces have killed 90 IS fighters this year, the majority of them in the Darzab district of northern Jawzjan province, a U.S. military statement said.
Mirwais Bezhan contributed to this report from northern Afghanistan.