Islamic State Leader for AfPak Chapter Killed in Nangarhar: US Department of Defense

NANGARHAR, Afghanistan — The United States Department of Defense has confirmed the death of the Islamic State Afghanistan and Pakistan chapter [Khurasan] head, Hafiz Sayed Khan.

The IS AFPak chapter leader Hafiz Sayed Khan [Photo from a Taliban file video]

The IS AFPak chapter leader Hafiz Sayed Khan [Photo from a Taliban file video]

“U.S. and Afghan Special Operations Forces conducted operations against ISIL in the southern Nangarhar province from approximately July 1-30, 2016. During this time, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike targeting Hafiz Sayed Khan, the Islamic State in the Levant-Khorasan emir, in Achin district, Nangarhar province on July 26, resulting in his death”, reads the statement released by Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge. “Khan was known to directly participate in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces, and the actions of his network terrorized Afghans, especially in Nangarhar”.

The Nangarhar province is believed to be one of the Islamic State hotbeds where many fighters of the organization are reportedly killed by Afghan National Security Forces and International Coalition forces.

Earlier, some districts were evacuated by the people, owing to the fight of the militant organization with the Afghan National Security Forces.

Who is Hafiz Sayed Khan?

The commander of Daesh [IS] was previously  the leader of Pakistani Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan Orakzai chapter, and served as their faction commander. After the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, the deadly chief of the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan in a US drone strike, the organization divided into several factions. The TTP Orakzai chapter, led by Khan and several other central leaders, announced their allegiance to Al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader.

According to a researcher working on the militant organizations active across Afghanistan and Pakistan, ArmedPolitics was told, ”though the Tehreek e Taliban Orakzai chief had earlier announced their allegiance with the Islamic State, it took time to recognize them part of the organization”. The researcher said that almost a year had passed, when only a month ago the Islamic State official agency started releasing the news of Islamic State Khurasan chapter through their Amaq Agency, a news agency well known for the news of the organization.

The Islamic State and Tehreek e Taliban Jamat ul Ahrar both took the credit for the  Quetta bombing that killed more than 70 lawyers in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

 

Malik Achakzai

malik

Malik Achakzai covers Afghanistan, Pakistan, politics, culture, development, relations, climate change and religions. Malik holds a Masters in Mass Communication from the University of Balochistan, and has worked for several media organizations including: Voice of America, United Press International, The Friday Times, Afghanistan Times, Daily Times Pakistan, News Lens Pakistan as freelancer for the last 8 years. @AfghanJourno