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Afghan Officials Report Heavy Casualties In Fighting With IS Militants

Grab from a video that shows militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) blowing up bound and blindfolded Afghan prisoners with explosives. The victims were from Nangarhar province.

Afghan officials have reported heavy fighting between Islamic State militants and government security forces in the east of the country.

At least a dozen Afghan security forces and civilians had been killed, with another 18 wounded, Nangarhar Province Governor Saleem Khan Kunduzi said in a statement on June 26.

Local officials claimed more than 100 Islamic State fighters had been killed in fighting in Nangarhar over the past three days, although exact figures varied and could not be independently verified.

As many as 25 homes had been burned down in Kowt district, and five civilians were reported kidnapped, Nangarhar officials said.

Hundreds of police and soldiers are engaged in the area with reinforcements on the way, provincial police chief Zarawar Zahid said.

In recent months, insurgents claiming allegiance to Islamic State had largely appeared to be bottled up in a mountainous area along the border with Pakistan under threat of U.S. air strikes.

Analysts say the latest attacks indicate the group remains a potent threat to a government already battling an insurgency dominated by the rival Taliban.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters