Senior Islamic State leader ‘believed killed in drone strike’

Posted On: 
13th August 2016

A senior member of the so-called Islamic State (IS) is believed to have been killed by a US-led drone strike, according to the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan.

Hafiz Saeed Khan, chief of a regional branch of the extremist organisation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is said to have died in the joint US-Afghan operation.

Another 23 high-ranking IS officials are presumed dead in the same attack, according to Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune, apparently dealing a major blow to the group's efforts to gain influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal regions.

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The US military said it was investigating the claim.

Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal said: "I can confirm that IS Khurasan leader Hafiz Saeed Khan along with his senior commanders and fighters died in a US drone strike on July 26 in Kot district of Afghanistan’s Nangharhar province."

Khan fought with the Taliban against US forces after 9/11 before joining the Pakistan Taliban when it launched.

He was one of six commanders who broke away from the group in 2014 to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of IS.