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Afghan IS Leader, Top Commanders Killed, U.S. Says


FILE: Video grab of an IS video showing bound and blindfolded Afghan prisoners in the eastern Nangarhar province.

The United States says a local leader of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group and several of the group's commanders have been killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan.

The attack on August 10 killed Abdul Rahman, identified by the U.S. military as the Kunar Provine emir for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan (ISIS-K), according to a statement from the command in Kabul.

Three other senior ISIS-K members were also among those killed in the strike in Pech Valley in eastern Kunar Province, the U.S. military said in the statement issued on August 13.

"The death of Abdul Rahman deals yet another blow to the senior leadership of ISIS-K," General John Nicholson, the senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in the statement.

Hafiz Saeed Khan, the first leader of Islamic State's branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike last year.
Hafiz Saeed Khan, the first leader of Islamic State's branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike last year.

The statement said that Rahman was a primary candidate to become IS's leader after its former leader, Abu Sayed, was killed in a U.S. air strike in July.

"He found out just like those before him that there are no safe havens in Afghanistan. We will hunt them down until they are no longer a threat to the Afghan people and the region," Nicholson added.

The U.S. military denied reports on August 11 that an air strike in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar killed as many as 16 civilians, saying the operation killed only militant fighters.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

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