A Taliban fighter promoted what he described as a training camp for jihadists in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia. The camp is located in a district that is a stronghold of the Haqqani Network and which has hosted members of al Qaeda’s network in the past.
Several photographs of the “Training Camp Shaheed Ustaz Aasim in the Lions Den” were posted to the Twitter account of an established Taliban fighter. The photographs, published above and below, show a dozen fighters training with assault rifles and PK machine guns in an open field. Jihadists hold two large white Taliban flags as the fighters train.
The authenticity of the photographs cannot be confirmed. The images were not released by Al Emarah, the Taliban’s official media wing, nor on Voice of Jihad. However, two US military intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that it is highly likely that the Taliban is training there.
“The district is firmly in control of the Taliban and they can operate in the open there,” one intelligence official said of Zurmat.