The Islamic State on Friday claimed for the first time that it has “established a province” in India after a militant with alleged ties to the group was killed in a clash with security forces, Reuters reported.
Amaq News Agency, a news outlet linked to the terror group, announced the new province called “Wilayah of Hind” and also claimed the Islamic State had inflicted casualties on Indian soldiers in Amshipora in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi, a commander of the Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir, was killed in a brief encounter in Shopian of South Kashmir on Friday, according to The Statesman. Sofi is believed to be the lone surviving member of the terror outfit in Kashmir.
The Islamic State’s claim of establishing a province in India came in the wake of the terror group being driven out from Iraq and Syria in April. The Islamic State had recently claimed the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka in which at least 253 people were killed.
“The establishment of a ‘province’ in a region where it has nothing resembling actual governance is absurd, but it should not be written off,” said Rita Katz, director of SITE Intel Group, which tracks Islamic extremists. “The world may roll its eyes at these developments, but to jihadists in these vulnerable regions, these are significant gestures to help lay the groundwork in rebuilding the map of the IS ‘caliphate’.”