KABUL: A senior commander of the self-styled Islamic State has been killed in an air strike in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan intelligence officials said on Saturday, the fourth high-ranking member of the militant group to be killed in the area in the past week.

Hafez Saeed was the leader of ISIS in Khorasan, according to Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), referring to an old term to describe Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was killed along with 30 other militants as they gathered in Achin district of Nangarhar province late on Friday, the intelligence agency said. It did not give any further details about the air strike.

Earlier this week, Shahidullah Shahid, a key figure in the embryonic movement and a high-profile defector from the Pakistan Taliban, was also reportedly killed in a drone strike.

The death of Saeed, named earlier this year as the head of IS’s Khorasan province – combining Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of neighbouring countries – will be a blow to the group’s efforts to add the region to its self-declared caliphate.

Two IS commanders – also defectors from the Pakistan Taliban – told the AFP news agency that they were present when the strike happened during a meeting of leaders.



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