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Militants Behead 3 Afghan Security Guards

Officials in Afghanistan say suspected Islamic State militants have beheaded three security guards at a government-run school and partially burned the building in eastern Nangarhar province.

A group of armed men carried out the overnight attack at the Malikyar boys high school in the Khogyani district, confirmed a spokesman for the provincial education department.

Mohammad Asif Shinwari told VOA that the assailants later torched the building, and the school library as well as some other portions were completely burnt.

There were no claims of responsibility though the provincial government blamed IS for being behind the incident.

The terrorist group’s Afghan branch, Khorasan Province, regularly plots suicide bombings and beheads people it accuses of working for the government.

IS claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Nangarhar during last month’s Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr. The bombings killed nearly 50 people and wounded over 130 others.

Afghan authorities estimate that around 2,000 IS fighters are active in four provinces, including Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan in the east, and Jowzjan in the north, next to the border with Central Asian countries.

Russia, however, told a United Nations Security Council meeting last week that Afghanistan-based IS has up to 10,000 fighters in its ranks and the group operates in at least nine of the country’s 34 provinces.

Moscow’s envoy to the U.N., Vasily Nebenzya, said that Islamic State “is constantly consolidating its positions in the north of the country, turning it into a springboard for its expansion into Central Asia.”

Meanwhile, an Afghan watchdog reported Sunday that conflict-related incidents in the country killed 158 civilians in June and injured 355 others.

The Civilian Protection Advocacy Group said that the number of casualties marked a significant decline compared with May, when 1,043 casualties were documented, including 183 fatalities.

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