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IS Leader In Afghanistan-Pakistan Reported Killed

Hafiz Sayeed, head of the IS branch in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Hafiz Sayeed, head of the IS branch in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency says the leader of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region has been killed in an air strike.

The National Security Directorate announced on July 11 that Hafiz Sayeed and 29 other militants were killed in the overnight strike in the Achin district of the eastern Nangarhar Province.

It said the strike was carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces in coordination with information provided by the intelligence agency.

A spokesman for U.S. military in Afghanistan, Colonel Brian Tribus, confirmed that American forces conducted a "precision strike" in Achin district on July 10 “against individuals threatening the force."

AFP news agency quoted two IS-affiliated commanders in Afghanistan, who said they were present when the strike occurred, as confirming Sayeed’s death.

They said the strike took place while a meeting of the commanders was going on, adding that Sayeed’s body was buried soon afterward.

Sayeed was named head of an area that the IS group calls the Khorasan region, which includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of neighboring countries, early this year when a group of Pakistani Taliban switched allegiance to the extremist group.

There have also been defections from the Afghan Taliban.

On July 7, an air strike in Achin district reportedly killed another IS leader, Mawlavi Shahidullah Shahid, a former member of the Pakistani Taliban.

His death has not been independently confirmed.

Achin district, located close to the Pakistani border, fell to the IS militants in June after heavy clashes with the Taliban.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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