IEA to include Istishhad battalion in new army

Officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said that they will create a special battalion of Istishhad (martyrdom soldiers) to be part of their future army.

During an interview with Radio RFE/RL the deputy minister of information and culture and spokesperson of the IEA Zabiullah Mujahid said that the battalion will be part of their special forces and will fall under the defense ministry.

“Our Mujahideen, who are in the martyrdom battalions, are also in the army; but they will include Special Forces; all of them will fall under the ministry of defense; these forces will be created in special numbers and will be used for special operations,” Mujahid told RFE/RL.

But Mujahid did not elaborate on the specific operations these soldiers will carry out.

On the subject of women and former officers in the IEA’s army, Mujahid acknowledged that women will be recruited based on need, and troops with expert skills who were in the former army will also be recruited.

Earlier, the defense ministry of the IEA said that they are working on building a 100,000-member army that will be fully equipped.

Meanwhile, Qari Fasihuddin, chief of staff of the IEA recently told Al Jazeera that they planned to build a 150,000-strong army.

According to the latest reports from the ministry of defense and the National Security Council of Afghanistan, Afghanistan had 350,000 troops under the previous government.