Islamic State militants in Afghanistan. File photo
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ZAKHO – Leader of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in an eastern Afghan province, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan said in a statement on Friday.
“I can confirm that ISIS Khurasan leader Hafiz Saeed Khan along with his senior commanders and fighters died in a US drone strike on July 26 in Kot district of Afghanistan’s Nangharhar province,” Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal told Reuters.
In the meantime, a spokesman for the American anti-ISIS military coalition in Kabul said he could not confirm the reports but officials were investigating.
Khan, a former member of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban who swore allegiance to ISIS, had earlier reported killed last year but the death was never confirmed.
In July, the Afghan authorities announced the death of prominent ISIS jihadi leader Saad al-Imarati in an operation by the government forces in the Nangarhar province.
Al-Imarati was one of the founders of ISIS branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and had led several ISIS attacks against pro-government troops and the Taliban.
Last week, the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) executed two Afghan men in the eastern Nangarhar province, after accusing them of fighting alongside pro-government forces in Afghanistan. ISIS beheaded the two men and released images showing the brutal execution, threatening everyone who backs the Afghan government against its self-declared Caliphate to face a similar punishment once captured by the group.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri