Taliban rigging drones to drop bombs, Afghan spy chief says

Taliban rigging drones to drop bombs, Afghan spy chief says


Kabul: The Afghan spy chief said on Monday that the Taliban deployed small drones to drop bombs on government forces in some recent attacks, indicating that the insurgents are using a new method of fighting.

The head of the National Security Agency (NDS), Ahmad Zia Shiraj, said that Taliban fighters are using amateur drones and manipulating them with explosives.

“The drones they are using are sold in the market. They are basically camera drones,” Shiraj said in an address to parliament, adding the NDS wants to stop the import of the popular devices.

In late October, the Taliban reportedly used a drone to bomb the compound of the governor of Kunduz province.

Shiraj did not confirm the report, but he noted that the Taliban have used drones in Kunduz and Paktia provinces.

While the technique is new to the Taliban, Islamic State (IS) jihadists operating in Iraq and Syria started using toy planes and hobby drones in 2016 to carry explosives.

IS maintain a small but deadly presence in Afghanistan and have resisted years-long efforts by the US and Afghan forces to wipe them out.

“We have destroyed their leadership circle but their second layer are young are still active,” Shiraj said.

IS has claimed three deadly attacks in Kabul in recent weeks, killing dozens of people, including a rocket attack on Saturday.

The Taliban and Washington signed an agreement in February, paving the way for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 2021.

In return, the insurgent organization pledged to prevent al-Qaida and Islamic State and other transnational jihadist groups from operating in Afghanistan.

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