As ISIS tries to ratchet up its territorial possessions in Afghanistan, they are running afoul of existing factions, and in the Nangarhar Province this is turning particularly violent, with ISIS and a local militia trading beheadings in recent days.
Afghan officials say at least four fighters on each side have been beheaded over this weekend, with ISIS killing four members of Zahir Qadir’s militia, and them turning around and beheading four of ISIS’ fighters captured on Saturday.
Zahir Qadir is deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s parliament, and a former general in the border patrol. His family had ties to the Northern Alliance, and to this day he has a significant fighting force around Jalalabad, which is also the base of the local ISIS affiliate.
District governor Ghalib Mujahib criticized both sides for the brutality of their killings, saying there was no justification for either to behave this way in the ongoing fighting over spheres of influence.