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Middle East

Afghan Islamic militants linked to Taliban could ‘announce allegiance’ to Isis

Militant group tells BBC it will ‘continue to fight until we establish an Islamic State’

Militant Islamic fighters in Afghanistan who are linked to the Taliban have said they would join forces with Isis, should it manage to create an Islamic caliphate.

Commander Mirwais, who belongs to the Afghani militant group Hezb-e-Islami, told the BBC that the group “will continue to fight until we establish an Islamic state”.

He called Isis by their Arabic name, Daish, stating this Hezb-e-Islami has links with some of its members. “We are waiting to see if they meet the requirements for an Islamic caliphate,” he said.

“If we find that they do, we are sure that our leadership will announce their allegiance to them. They are great mujahideen. We pray for them, and if we don’t see a problem in the way they operate, we will join them,” Mirwais added.

BBC world affairs editor John Simpson and his team made contact with Mirwais, whose group is currently fighting on the outskirts of Pul-e-Khumri, through an intermediary.

The group which Mirwais belongs to is known for its ferocity and its actions have reportedly alienated the Taliban at times.

Mirwais implied that once Western troops have left Afghanistan that the Taliban and its affiliated groups will not negotiate with the government in Kabul.

"Our struggle was mainly against the Americans, and thank God they were forced to run away. But we will continue to fight until we establish an Islamic state," he said.

"Our operations are mostly guerrilla-style these days. The Kabul government is very weak now, like the Najibullah government after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. We concentrate on explosions and targeted killings and ambushes.

"The government has no control beyond the tarmac roads. They can't go into the villages without massive force."