The leader of Daesh’s branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been reportedly killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.
Hafiz Saeed Khan and his senior lieutenants were killed in a US airstrike on July 26 in Nangarhar province, Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge said in a statement on Friday.
“Nangarhar province has been a hotbed for [Daesh] activity since the summer of 2015,” Trowbridge said. “Khan’s death affects [Daesh] recruiting efforts and will disrupt [its] operations in Afghanistan and the region.”
Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal also confirmed Khan’s death.
This is the second time that Khan is said to have died. In 2015, Afghan intelligence agents claimed he had been killed, but their claim was never substantiated.
His death will mark the second US killing of a key terrorist in the region within months.
In May, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan.
The Takfiri terrorists last month claimed responsibility for a bombing at a demonstration held by the Shia Hazara community in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where at least 80 people were killed.
The group has reportedly managed to establish connections with Taliban’s splinter groups, especially those believed to be discontent with changes in the Taliban leadership.
Officials in the Afghan government have blamed local leaders in the east of the country for the surge in the Daesh militancy.
The Daesh group was initially created and funded by the US and its regional allies to destabilize the Middle East region, particularly Syria.