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Suspected 'Islamic State' militants kill at least 30 Afghan civilians in revenge attack

Local government officials said Wednesday that militants linked to the Islamic State group killed around 30 civilians, including children, in retaliation for the killing of an 'IS' commander.

The attack took place late on Tuesday to the north of the provincial capital, Feroz Koh, a local official said on Wednesday.

It follows an attack by militants near Feroz Koh on Tuesday.

"Our security forces with the help of locals conducted an operation and killed a Daesh (IS) commander yesterday. Daesh fighters in return abducted around 30 villagers, mostly shepherds," Ghor Governor Nasir Khazeh told the French agency AFP, using a common Arabic term for the self-styled Islamic State.

"Their dead bodies were found by local people this morning." There has so far been no official claim of responsibility from the group.

The security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating as the Taliban continue to drive their way back into urban centers and IS makes inroads into the embattled country, challenging the Taliban on their own turf, mainly in the east. Ghor, in central-western Afghanistan, has not been known as a major center for IS - which has been concentrated in the eastern state of Nangarhar.

News of the attack comes after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced in March that IS had been defeated after security forces claimed victory in a monthslong operation against the group.

In July, IS jihadists claimed responsibility for two explosions that struck crowds of Shiite Hazaras in Kabul, killing at least 80 people in what was the deadliest single attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
jbh/kl (AFP, Reuters, AFP)

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