ISIS Leader In Afghanistan Killed In U.S. Strike, Officials Say

Afghanistan Islamic State leader 'killed in air strike'

US forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike in Nangarhar province targeting a senior leader of a terrorist group, said a spokesperson for Operation Resolute Support, a NATO-led mission which trains and advises Afghan forces.

Afghan officials characterize Abu Saad Erhabi as the group's "emir", and say he was among 11 killed in a joint raid in eastern Nangarhar province; an American spokesman confirms a hit on "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization".

Abu Saad Erhabi, which translates as "father of Saad the terrorist", is the fourth leader of the group to be killed since April past year.

"US forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike in Nangarhar province targeting a senior leader of a terrorist group", said a spokesperson for Operation Resolute Support, a NATO-led mission which trains and advises Afghan forces". Weapons and ammunition were later found in the base in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province.

"I can confirm that USA forces conducted a counterterrorism strike. which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization", Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesperson for US forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement. In July 2017, the Pentagon said a strike killed Abu Sayed - the heir to Abdul Hasib, who died three months earlier.

This was the third Daesh leader in Afghanistan to be killed in less than two years.

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Hours before Saturday's air strikes, the group claimed a deadly suicide attack that appeared to target a sit-in protest outside an election commission office in the city of Jalalabad.

The IS affiliate has been active there since 2014, claiming a number of deadly recent attacks.

The group, however, has suffered repeated setbacks amid a bloody turf war with the much larger Taliban.

Estimates of their numbers in the country run as high as around 2,000.

Islamic State is known as Khorasan, the historic name for Afghanistan and surrounding areas. It's now one of the country's most risky militant groups.

More than IS 150 fighters surrendered to Afghan forces in Jowzjan on August 1, a move which troops and the Taliban hailed as the end of the group´s foothold in the north of the country.

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