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Uzbekistan Rejects Claim By Islamic State Affiliate In Afghanistan Over Rocket Assault


An undated video grab shows members of the Islamic State-Khorasan at an undisclosed location near the Pakistani-Afghan border. (file photo)

Uzbekistan has rejected claims by a regional affiliate of Islamic State that it carried out a rocket attack on the Central Asian nation from neighboring Afghanistan.

The Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) said on April 18 that it had fired 10 rockets at an Uzbek military base in the border town of Termiz, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks terrorist propaganda.

But Uzbek presidential spokesman Sherzod Asadov denied the claim on April 19, calling on Uzbek citizens to disregard what he called "provocations."

"The information distributed by some Telegram channels about a so-called rocket attack from the territory of Afghanistan at units of Uzbekistan's armed forces near the town of Termiz absolutely do not correspond to the reality. According to the Defense Ministry and Uzbekistan's border guard troops, there are no active military developments along the Uzbek-Afghan border, the situation is stable," Asadov said in a statement placed on Telegram.

IS-K, meanwhile, claimed that it fired the rockets from the Afghan town of Hairatan near the Uzbek border.

IS-K has increased attacks in and around Afghanistan following the U.S.-led military withdrawal from the country in August after 20 years.

The terrorist group has conducted several attacks in neighboring Pakistan, including a deadly suicide bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar last month.

In February, the United States offered a $10 million reward for information that helps identify and locate the leader of IS-K in Afghanistan, Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir.

The U.S. State Department says Ghafari was appointed to lead IS-K in June 2020 and that he is responsible for approving all IS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding for activities.

The State Department has designated Ghafari and two other leaders of the extremist group’s affiliate in Afghanistan as global terrorists.

With reporting by VOA and The Tech Agents

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