Afghanistan Islamic State leader killed in airstrike

The leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and 10 other fighters died in an airstrike in Nangarhar province, Afghan and U.S. government officials said.

Afghan security officials secure a checkpoint in Bahsood district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on August 6. The leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and 10 other fighters died Saturday in an airstrike in the province, Afghan and U.S. government officials said. Photo by Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA
Afghan security officials secure a checkpoint in Bahsood district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on August 6. The leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and 10 other fighters died Saturday in an airstrike in the province, Afghan and U.S. government officials said. Photo by Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA

Abu Sayed Orakzai, also known as Sad Arhabi, died in an airstrike Saturday night by Afghan and coalition forces after receiving intelligence from Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said in a CNN report.

Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman, confirmed that they targeted a “senior leader of a designated terrorist organization” in Afghanistan.

“I would also add that the United States unrelentingly continues its counterterrorism efforts against ISIS-K, Al-Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups,” O’Donnell said in a statement.

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Khogyani told VOA the strike destroyed two of the group’s bases.

Abu Sayed, the previous leader of Islamic State in Afghanistan, died in a U.S. strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar province in July 2017. In all four leaders have died since Islamic State launched extremist activity in early 2015 from bases in Nangarhar next to neighboring Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s government in Kabul estimated earlier this month about 2,000 Islamic State fighters remain in the country.

ByAllen Cone