Islamic State leader in Afghanistan reportedly killed

KABUL (TCA) — Afghan authorities say the head of Islamic State militants in Afghanistan has been killed in a strike on the group’s hideouts in Nangarhar Province, RFE/RL reported.

The National Security Directorate said that in addition to Abu Saad Erhabi, 10 other members of the militant group were also killed in a joint ground and air operation by Afghan and foreign forces on August 25.

The August 26 statement said a large amount of heavy and light weapons and ammunition were also destroyed.

Amaq, the extremist group’s news agency, carried no comment on the issue, and there was no reaction from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan, the group has built a stronghold in Nangarhar, on Afghanistan’s porous eastern border with Pakistan.

It’s unclear exactly how many Islamic State fighters are in the country, because they frequently switch allegiances. The U.S. military estimates that there are about 2,000.

Abu Saad Erhabi is the third Islamic State leader killed in the country in less than a year as troops continue to target the group, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

The group has been increasingly active in the eastern province and is often behind deadly attacks in the country – particularly in Jalalabad and Kabul.

Last week, the group claimed responsibility for the rocket attack against the Presidential Palace and also for the deadly suicide bombing against the Mawoud Academy recently – killing more than 50 students, all under the age of 20.

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Times of Central Asia