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Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Afghan air force pounds area after death of IS commander


USA and Afghan officials confirmed Sunday that Abdul Hasib, head of the Islamic State terror group in Afghanistan, has been killed in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

A counter-IS operation has been under way in Nangarhar since early March, and Afghan forces, with the help of USA counterparts, have killed or captured hundreds of fighters and liberated over half of the districts the terrorist group controlled in the province, according to the US military.

The US military statement said 35 ISIS militants and several high ranking commanders were killed in the April 27 raid.

Hasib, who was appointed previous year following the death of his predecessor Hafiz Saeed in a U.S drone strike, was killed in a raid by 50 U.S. Special Forces and 40 Afghan commandos, according to a joint statement by U.S. and Afghan armed forces.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Afghanistan late last month for a strategic review of America's longest war, which has dragged on for 16 years. At the time of the raid officials said they thought Logari had been killed, but were not certain.

In recent days, Taliban fighters overran a district in northern Kunduz province while local security forces and officials said they were waiting for help and reinforcements.

He said. Afghan and U.S. Forces launched a counter ISIS-K offensive in early March 2017 to drive ISIS- K from Nangarhar and send a clear message to ISIS that there is no sanctuary for their fighters in Afghanistan.

After the March 8 Kabul hospital attack, Afghan and US forces launched a counteroffensive in the province.

Fifty US Army rangers and 40 Afghan commandos were dropped by helicopter into Nangarhar Province, within a mile or so of the site where the United Statesdropped the MOAB, or "mother of all bombs", on April 13.

It is the second time in nine months that the US and Afghan forces have killed the leader of ISIS Khorasan Province, also known as ISIS Khorasan or ISIS-K. He said the militants had "waged a barbaric campaign of death, torture and violence against the Afghan people, especially those in southern Nangarhar".

USA troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, who also mainly serve in an advisory capacity - a far cry from the U.S. presence of more than 100,000 six years ago.

In a tweet, the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani confirmed Hasib's responsibility for the attack and claimed he also "kidnapped girls and beheaded elders in front of their families".

"Any ISIS member that comes to Afghanistan will meet the same fate", he vowed.

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