A leader of Islamic State (IS) terror group in Afghanistan was killed during a joint operation of Afghan and US forces, an official statement has said.

The IS Khorasan leader Abdul Hasib died on April 27 in the joint operation in Nangarhar, the presidential office of Afghanistan confirmed late on Sunday.

“Head of ISIS-K in Afghanistan Abdul Hasib has been killed in a raid led by Afghan Special Forces…,” it said in a tweet, Efe news reported.

The US troops in Afghanistan also confirmed the death of the insurgent leader and added that several high-ranking commanders of the group and 35 other members were also killed in the operation.

Afghan authorities blamed Hasib for ordering the March 8 attack which killed more than 50 people at a military hospital in Kabul, abducting girls and beheading elderly people.

“This is the second ISIS-K emir we have killed in nine months, along with dozens of their leaders and hundreds of their fighters,” said General John Nicholson, the US Force and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

The IS leader was confirmed dead three weeks after the US launched one of the most powerful conventional bombs in Nangarhar province, with the aim of destroying one of the last IS strongholds and facilitating the ongoing field operations of US and Afghan troops.

The GBU-43 projectile, dubbed as the “mother of all bombs”, killed about 96 IS members. About 300 other extremists were also killed in other operations, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

In June 2016, the Kabul government claimed to have defeated the terrorists in much of the IS-dominated areas.

However, the terror group has continued to claim responsibility for some of the country’s most bloody attacks, such as the suicide attack on Shia Hazara protesters in Kabul, which killed 80 and injured 300, in July 2016.

Three weeks ago, the Afghan government estimated the number of IS members in the country at around 400.

NATO further added without giving concrete figures that the number of extremists have halved in the last two years.

The Islamic State reached different parts of Afghanistan in 2015 and established its main stronghold in Nangarhar, a province bordering Pakistan.

First Published | 8 May 2017 9:59 AM
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