Tajik national among two linked to Kandahar assault, Taliban-affiliated media reports

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Last week’s attack in Kandahar was executed by two individuals from Central Asian nations, including one from Tajikistan, according to media outlets affiliated with the Taliban’s intelligence service.

The attackers, identified as Madiarov Asadbig and an individual using the alias “Tariq Abdullah,” had allegedly joined the Daesh Khorasan, a branch of the Islamic State group, two months prior in Balochistan, Pakistan.

The reports claim the duo underwent mental training in Balochistan before entering Kandahar days ahead of the assault. Balochistan is described in the reports as a pivotal hub for Daesh Khorasan, allegedly hosting the group’s sanctuaries, educational facilities, and bomb manufacturing sites. Shahab al-Muhajir, purported leader of Daesh Khorasan, along with his close aides, are said to be residing in Balochistan, coordinating attacks on Afghan soil from there.

Further, the media outlet stated that one of the assailants, also known by the alias “Tariq Abdulrahman,” was implicated in an earlier attack in Kerman, Iran.

The incident has drawn attention amidst ongoing concerns expressed by members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) regarding the presence of terrorist factions in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. The CSTO Secretary-General, in an interview with the Russian News Agency TASS, mentioned that CSTO member states are fortifying their borders adjacent to Afghanistan to thwart potential terrorist incursions.