′Fourth′ IS leader in Afghanistan killed, Kabul claims | News | DW | 26.08.2018
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'Fourth' IS leader in Afghanistan killed, Kabul claims

Saad Erhabi, the fourth leader of Islamic State's (IS) branch in Afghanistan, has been killed, Afghan authorities say. US forces say its joint raid "targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization."

Nangarhar, Afghanistan (Getty Images/AFP/W. Kohsar)

An air strike on Nangarhar on 7 July 2018

Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security said Erhabi was killed at a village in Khugyani district in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday night along with 10 other IS members.

A large amount of weapons and ammunition was also destroyed, it added.

US forces in Afghanistan said the joint strike had "targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization."

Resignation in Kabul

Erhabi's reported death coincides with military setbacks for Kabul, where Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has rejected resignation offers from three key officials after the resignation of his national security adviser Mohammed Haneef Atmar.

Mohammad Hanif Atmar (picture-alliance/dpa/TASS/A. Korotayev)

Ghani's former adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar

The jihadi group's Amaq media agency carried no comment on Sunday.

The directorate said Erhabi was the fourth leader of the relatively small but potent group killed since early 2015.

In early July, a US drone killed Abu Sayed, who previously had led the affiliate, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), said by the US military to have about 2,000 fighters. 

Eastern Afghanistan

Nangarhar (pictured above), the origin of IS in Afghanistan, lies on the country's porous eastern border with Pakistan.

ISIS-K has fought both Afghanistan's main insurgent group, the Taliban, as well as Afghan and US-led forces deployed over nearly 17 years.

Hours earlier, it had claimed responsibility for two deaths caused by a suicide attack during a sit-in protest outside an election commission office in Jalalabad.

ipj/ng (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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