Kabul (Afghanistan) | Jagran News Desk: The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), a terror organisation affliated to the Islamic State (IS), has claimed the responsibility for the deadly suicide bombings at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul that has claimed the lives more than 85 people, including 13 United States (US) troops.

The IS claimed that its suicide bomber had managed to breach the security points set up by Taliban militants to come within five metres (yards) of a gathering of US troops before detonating his explosive belt.

Who are ISIS-K?

The emergence of the ISIS-K can be dated back to 2014 when ISIS declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria after which breakaway fighters from the Pakistani Taliban joined hands with them and pledged an alliance with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In the next few years, ISIS-K expanded its wings in Afghanistan's Kunar, Nangarhar and Nuristan provinces and emerged as a threat to Taliban. According to a report by the United Nations (UN), ISIS-K also has its sleeper cells in several parts of Pakistan.

Over the years, ISIS-K has emerged as one of the deadliest terror groups in the region, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, massacring civilians at hospitals, shrines and even mosques. The group has especially targeted Muslims from sects it considers heretical, including Shiites.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies claimed that the ISIS-K conducted 100 strikes on civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 2015 to 2017, killing hundreds. It is believed that it was also behind the attack at the Kabul maternity facility in May last year in which 24 people, including women and infants, lost their lives.

ISIS-K's relationship with Taliban and Al-Qaeda:

Though ISIS-K and Taliban are hardcore Sunni terror groups, there has been no relationship between them. Taliban and ISKP have also clashed with each other over the years. Last week, media reports had claimed that Taliban also executed an ISIS-K commander imprisoned in Kabul after taking control of Kabul.

Speaking about ISIS-K's relationship with Al-Qaeda, there have been no reports on it yet. However, experts believe that the two are unlikely to cooperate despite their differences against the West.

However, several Afghan experts, including Afghanistan's acting president Amrullah Saleh, have claimed that ISIS-K has links with a few Taliban fighters and Al-Qaeda and might cooperate in the future.

"Talibs have learned well from the master. Talibs denying links with ISIS is similar to denial of Pakistan on Quetta Shura. Every evidence we have in hand shows that IS-K cells have their roots in Talibs and Haqqani network," Saleh tweeted on Friday.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma