KABUL The top Islamic State commander in Afghanistan has been killed by a US air strike in the country’s east, officials said on Saturday, the fourth ex-Taliban who declared loyalty to the Middle East-based militants to be assassinated within a week.
While United States officials declined to confirm it, Afghan authorities said an American airstrike on Friday killed Isis affiliate leader Hafiz Sayeed and more than 30 other militants.
They also include militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the target of a U.S.-led invasion after the 2001 al-Qaida terror attacks on America.
Sediqi said the Afghan intelligence service provided information to USA forces, who carried out the strike.
The claim was not confirmed by independent sources or from the IS, also known as Daesh in Arabic.
He is the third IS commander to be killed in a week following the deaths of Shahidullah Shahid and Gul Zaman.
In an unrelated incident, a local leader and pro-government figure named Shir Arab was killed following a drive-by shooting attack in Mazar-i-Sharif city, capital of northern Balkh province on Saturday evening, Shir Jan Durranni, a provincial police spokesman, said.
In March, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told U.S. Congress that the group that calls itself the Islamic State poses a “terrible threat” to his country and others nearby.
Since January, when the Islamic State announced the creation of its Khorasan wing, numerous Taliban members have defected.
The Islamic State group has shown a considerable concentration of fighters in the Nangarhar province lately and many airstrikes conducted in the last month have targeted groups of up to 20 people.
Saeed and Shahid had both been top commanders with the Pakistani Taliban before shifting allegiances to the militant group based in Syria and Iraq.
The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit here, comes barely days after Pakistan brokered talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Islamabad, the Pakistani English daily Dawn reported.
“I do believe our work disrupted efforts to kill people, likely in connection with July 4”, Comey said during a recent press conference in Washington D.C.