Officials: U.S. Drone Strike Kills Islamic State Leader in Afghanistan

Three Southeast Asians in IS beheading video blacklisted by US
AFP/DELIL SOULEIMAN

The leader of an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Saturday with ten other militant fighters, U.S. officials announced Sunday.

The deputy spokesperson for Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani announced that Abu Sayeed Orakzai, the Islamic State leader in Afghanistan, had been one of those killed in the drone strike, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell told Fox News.

“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.

The ISIS affiliate group is also known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) because it was named after a region including Afghanistan. The group has been actively fighting the Taliban, Afghan, and U.S. forces since 2015.

U.S. forces launched the drone strike in the Nangarhar province, near Pakistan’s border. The strike killed Orakzai and ten other ISIS fighters.

Orakzai is at least the third ISIS affiliate leader killed within the past two years. The Islamic State has lost control of 90 percent of the land bordering Iraq and Syria since they declared a caliphate in 2014.

 

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