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Pentagon: Islamic State Branch Leader in Afghanistan Killed in Airstrike

Islamic State
(Photo : Scott Bobb, Voice of America News/Wikimedia/CC) Islamic State leader in Afghanistan was killed in an airstrike on July 26, the Pentagon reported.

A U.S. drone strike killed an Islamic State branch leader in Afghanistan on July 26, the Pentagon reported on August 12.

"U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting Hafiz Sayed Khan, the Islamic State in the Levant-Khorasan emir, in Achin district, Nangarhar province July 26, resulting in his death," the Pentagon said in a press release.

Hafiz Saeed Khan was killed in a joint Afghan-US operation in Achin district of Afghanistan's Nangharhar province, the Pentagon said.

Several others of Khan's commanders were also killed, according to the Afghan officials.

"At least 23 Dai'sh commanders, including the commander of Khurasan faction Hafiz Saeed, were killed in foreign troops' drone strikes and their bodies are still there," commander of the 201 Selab Corps Major General Mohammad Zaman Wazir told Tolo News.

There have been reports of the leader being killed in the past, which later proved to be false. He was assumed killed in two separate instances in January and July of 2015. Unlike this time, the reports were not confirmed by the United States.

"Khan was known to directly participate in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces," Deputy Press Secretary of Pentagon, Gordon Trowbridge, said in a statement, "and the actions of his network terrorized Afghans, especially in Nangarhar."

ISIS Afghanistan trains, equips, and disseminates fighters in the Nangarhar province, and the terrorist activity in the area rose since summer of 2015, according to the Pentagon. The militants are given training in Nangarhar, from where fighters are supplied to other areas of Afghanistan.

Khan was a prominent leader in Pakistani Taliban but joined ISIS in October 2014, along with a group of five other senior commanders. ISIS released a video message on January 9, 2015, where the Pakistani group was seen alleging support to ISIS.

He was responsible for suicide attacks in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province, which killed over 30 people in April 18, 2015.

The United States Department of Treasury sanctioned Saeed in September 2015, along with 15 other IS commanders.

"Khan, as leader of ISIL-K, plays a central role in expanding ISIL's operations in the region, commanding militants and coordinating the delivery of supplies and munitions, the travel of associates, and other arrangements. In mid-2015, Khan appointed ISIL representatives in Kunar Province and Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan and approved funding for the establishment of a training camp for ISIL fighters in western Afghanistan. ISIL militants under Khan's command had taken control of several districts in Nangarhar Province in mid-2015," the state department report said.

Tags Islamic State (ISIS), Islamic State Afghanistan, Hafiz Saeed Khan

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