World

KABUL – The head of Islamic State in Afghanistan, Abdul Hasib, has been killed in an operation led by Afghan special forces in the eastern province of Nangarhar, President Ashraf Ghani claimed on Sunday.

Hasib was appointed to the top slot last year after his predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan died in a US drone strike. The deceased was believed to have ordered a series of high profile attacks including one in March on the main military hospital in Kabul that left over 35 dead.

US military officials on Sunday endorsed Ghani’s claims and detailed that US and Afghan troops killed the leader of the IS’s Afghanistan affiliate in an April raid in Nangarhar province.

The Afghan affiliate of IS, named Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) after an old name for the region, has been active since 2015, fighting both the Taliban as well as Afghan and US forces.

The Afghan faction of the hardcore militant group is believed to have links with the main Islamic State movement in Iraq and Syria but has considerable operational independence.

US and Afghan special forces, backed by drone strikes and other air support, have waged a series of operations against IS-K this year.

Last month the United States dropped its largest non-nuclear device ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on a network of caves and tunnels used by ISIS in Nangarhar, killing 94 fighters, including four commanders.

The war-torn Afghanistan is witnessing haphazard changes during the current year with Russian influence increasing day by day. Not only that, the entry of Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is also of pivotal importance.

On the other hand, the Afghan Taliban, that have control over around 40 percent of the area, have launched their spring offensive aimed at targeting foreign troops.