Regional ISIS leader Abu Sayed killed in U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan

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Abu Sayed, the Islamic State’s top leader for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in northeast Afghanistan, the U.S. military says, less than 3 months after the group’s previous leader was killed.

The latest operation took place on Tuesday when U.S. forces carried out an airstrike against the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province. The airstrike was disclosed on Friday but only few details were immediately released.

A brief statement from the U.S. military said Abu Sayed, the Emir of ISIS-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), was killed in the airstrike. A Pentagon spokeswoman added that other fighters were also killed, but specific figures were not made available.

General John Nicholson, the Commander of U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, called Sayed’s death “another success” in the campaign to defeat the so-called ISIS Khorasan Province, which covers both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The killing comes less than 3 months after Abdul Hasib, the group’s previous leader, was killed in a joint Afghan-U.S. operation in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Hasib’s predecessor, Hafiz Sayed Khan, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in the same region in July 2016.

According to the U.S. military, “hundreds” of ISIS fighters have been killed or captured since Afghan-U.S. forces launched an offensive against ISIS-K in March. As a result, more than half of the districts previously controlled by ISIS-K have been retaken by Afghan forces.

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