ISIS leader in Afghanistan killed in air raid

August 28, 2018

TEHRAN - The leader of ISIS in Afghanistan was killed in air strikes in eastern Nangarhar province, the fourth head of the terrorist group to be killed since it gained foothold in the country almost four years ago.

According to media reports, Abu Saad Erhabi and 10 other ISIS members were killed in a joint operation of Afghan and coalition forces on Saturday night, the National Directorate of Security said in a statement on Sunday.

"The emir of Daesh in Afghanistan - along with 10 others - was killed," the Afghan intelligence agency said, using the armed group's Arabic acronym.

The air attacks on a village in Khugyani district, near the border with Pakistan, also destroyed a large number of weapons, explosives, and ammunition, the agency said.

The provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani confirmed Erhabi's death.

Erhabi was the fourth ISIS leader killed in Afghanistan since the group emerged there in early 2015. Erhabi succeeded Abu Sayed who was killed in a US drone attack in early July.

ISIS has a relatively small but potent presence in Afghanistan, mainly in Nangarhar - the birthplace of the group's Afghan branch - but more recently in the northern province of Jowzjan where it is fighting for control of smuggling routes into neighbouring Turkmenistan.

Hours before Saturday's air raids, the group claimed a deadly suicide attack that appeared to target a sit-in protest outside an election commission office in the city of Jalalabad. Two people were killed.

The bombings followed a number of attacks claimed by ISIS in recent weeks, including assaults on several government installations in Kabul and a bombing at a school in a Shia area of the capital that killed at least 37 people.

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