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Taliban deploys suicide bomber battalion on Tajikstan border as tension rises

Taliban deploys suicide bomber battalion on Tajikstan border.

The Taliban has created a new battalion of suicide bombers and deployed them on Afghanisten’s borders with Tajikistan and China.

"A special suicide battalion named Lashkar-e-Mansoori also known as Mansoor army or Mansoor Battalion, will be deployed to Afghanistan’s borders," reports the Russian news agency TASS quoting Mullah Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi, deputy governor of Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan. According to the report, suicide bombers from this battalion will be guarding the borders. The northeastern province of Badakhshan borders Tajikistan and China.

Taliban sets up suicide battalion to protect Afghan borders

The Mansoor Battalion is not new but now it has been totally revamped after the Taliban took control of the country. The groups only disciplined and well equipped unit Badri 313 has trained these suicide bombers.

It was first created in 2009 to target high value targets including officials of the previous governments and NATO officials.

Ahmadi said the battalion has been operating for the last 12 years or more. They were recruited to target high value targets and were responsible for most green on blue attacks- a phrase used to describe attacks on NATO forces by the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

“The defeat of the US would not be possible if this battalion had not existed. These brave men would wear explosive waistcoats and would detonate the US bases in Afghanistan. These are people with literally know no fear and devote themselves for the consent of Allah,” said Ahmadi.

According to the Taliban watchers, the total revamp of the Mansur Suicide battalion is done by the Taliban’s Badri 313 brigade. Though exact numbers of these suicide bombers are not known but according to one estimate there are more than 500 trained bombers.

Experts say most of the recruits come from poor families and are largely uneducated. A few of them were arrested by the previous government’s intelligence forces before they could carry out their attacks. They told their interrogators about their training programs entailed using long arms through the mountain side, but much of it came down to spiritual preparation and unbridled commitment to the cause.

The announcement of deploying suicide bombers on the Tajikistan border, is significant at a time when there is high  tension between the Taliban and Tajikistan. The anti-Taliban leaders of the Panjshir Resistance forces, Ahmad Massoud and President in exile Amrullah Saleh both are in the Dushanbe under the protection of Tajikistan. 

The President of Tajikistan Rahmon has been accusing the Taliban of not forming an “inclusive” government in Kabul.

Various terrorist groups are actively using the unstable military-political situation in Afghanistan in order to strengthen their positions…We are seriously concerned and regret that Afghanistan is once again on its way to becoming a platform for international terrorism,” he said in UN General Assembly speech last month. Tajikistan also held military exercises in two provinces bordering Afghanistan. 

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Taliban’s main rival Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) or Daesh-K too has good numbers of suicide bombers and it was evident on Sunday they targeted a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Sunday’s attack is the first to target the capital since late August when an ISKP suicide bomber targeted American evacuation efforts outside Kabul’s international airport. The blast killed 169 Afghans and 13 US service members and was one of the deadliest attacks in the country in years.

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