Afghan officials confirm death of Islamic State leader

Afghan officials on Saturday confirmed that Hafiz Sayed Khan, the leader of the Islamic State movement's Afghanistan branch, was killed in a US airstrike. 

The Pentagon on Friday said Khan was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province. 

"We can confirm that Hafiz Sayed [Khan] was killed on July 26 in the Achin district of Nangarhar province," Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said, confirming earlier comments from Pentagon spokesman Gordon Trowbridge.

The airstrike occurred during joint month-long US special forces and Afghan military operations against the Islamic State movement during July in Nangarhar. The airstrike was carried out with Khan as the target, according to the Pentagon.

"Khan was known to directly participate in attacks against US and coalition forces, and the actions of his network terrorized Afghans, especially in Nangarhar," Trowbridge said.

Nangarhar has been used by Islamic State to recruit, train and equip fighters.

Khan's death should disrupt the group's recruitment and operations in and around Afghanistan, Trowbridge said.

Khan, described as the emir of Islamic State's Afghanistan and Pakistan wing, had previously been part of the Taliban before swearing allegiance to Islamic State.

Last update: Sat, 13/08/2016 - 14:32

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