Leading Islamic State figure reportedly killed in Afghanistan

One of 11 rebels killed by NATO airstrikes was a senior leader of Islamic State's Afghan-Pakistan wing, a local official said Friday.

Afghan news agency ToloNews quoted the Achin district chief as saying that Hafiz Saeed was among the victims of the Thursday airstrikes in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

Ghalib Mujahid also said the son of Mangal Bagh, another key leader of the group, was also among the dead. 

But Nangarhar provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain did not confirm the report, saying, "We do not have any information confirming the death of Hafiz Saeed in the airstrike."

He and the governor's office both confirmed the airstrikes happened, saying there were 10 victims in two attacks. 

Some officials had previously claimed that Hafiz Saeed, a former leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, was killed in July along with 30 others in a drone strike in the same district.

Eastern Afghanistan has been identified as a hotspot for Islamic State activity, according to NATO mission chief General John Campbell. 

US forces have been concentrating more drone strikes in the eastern region since the middle of last year.

The US State Department this week declared Islamic State's Afghan-Pakistan wing a terrorist outfit.

"The group is based in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban," it said.

Last update: Fri, 15/01/2016 - 10:57
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