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IS Audio Contradicts Reported Death Of IS Leader In Afghanistan

A video grab shows the Islamic State leader for the so-called Khorasan State, Hafez Saeed (C) at an undisclosed location at the Pakistani-Afghan border, undated.

By RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

The Islamic State (IS) group on July 13 released an audio recording it claims is the voice of the movement's leader for Afghanistan, contradicting reports he had been killed by a U.S. drone strike three days earlier.

The message, purportedly from leader Hafez Saeed, was posted to an IS website after the Afghan intelligence agency said he was killed.

The authenticity of the audio could not immediately be independently verified.

Saeed, a Pakistani, reportedly was killed in the Achin district of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar on July 10.

Saeed switched allegiance in 2014 from the Taliban to IS.

IS figures have been targets for U.S drone strikes, which have killed three other IS commanders in the same area during the past week -- including Shahidullah Shahid and Gul Zaman.

IS fighters have fought battles against Afghan Taliban in several districts of Nangarhar Province during the past two months.

With reporting by Reuters