ISIS chief in Afghanistan killed in April raid, U.S. military says

U.S. soldier patrols in Asad Khil village near the site of a U.S. bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad east of Kabul Afghanistan. As the administration of President Donald Trump weighs sending more troo
As Afghan stalemate grinds on, Trump mulls additional troops
Author

19 May, 2017

The head of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan, Abdul Hasib, has been killed in a military raid, USA and Afghan officials have said.

On April 29, the US Special Forces and Afghan Commandoes had claimed that Hasib was probably killed in their attack.

Hasib is believed to have been behind March's attack on a military hospital in Kabul, killing at least 50 people. Hasib switched his allegiance to the Islamic State in Afghanistan, taking over from his predecessor, Hafiz Saeed Khan, who was killed nine months ago in a US airstrike.

Meanwhile, US military officials also confirmed that US and Afghan troops killed the leader of the IS's Afghanistan affiliate in an April raid, US military officials confirmed on Sunday.

"He was responsible for ordering the attack on the 400-bed hospital in Kabul, he kidnapped girls and beheaded elders in front of their families", the president's office said in a series of tweets Sunday night. Two American soldiers were killed during the raid, the military said, possibly from friendly fire.

"The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have stepped up Counter-Terrorism operations to suppress the insurgency activities of the terror groups", the statement added.

"In the past 24 hours, 34 Daesh terrorists were killed and a radio station run by Daesh terrorists was destroyed after the Afghan Air Force targeted militant hideouts in the Naziyan and Achin districts of eastern Nangarhar province", read the statement.

The US military calls the group Islamic State-Khorasan, or ISIS-K. Two of the Rangers were killed and a third was wounded.

Hasib had directed an attack in March on the country's biggest military hospital in the capital, Kabul, which killed 50 and wounded more than 80 in one of the deadliest assaults since 2001, US forces said. IS fighters disguised as doctors stormed the building, killing dozens of medical staff and patients. The casualty toll could not be independently confirmed as the area is off-limits to reporters.

After a steady downsizing of U.S. troop numbers since 2011, United States military commanders say they need to strengthen the numbers on the ground to better support Afghan forces and help retake territory lost to the Taliban, which is considered a bigger threat than IS. "To date, the campaign has liberated over half of the districts that ISIS-K controlled, which has allowed local residents to return to their homes for the first time in more than two years", the statement added.

According to the U.S. military, "hundreds" of ISIS fighters have been killed or captured since Afghan-U.S. forces launched an offensive against ISIS-K in Nangarhar.


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