A drone strike in Afghanistan has killed a key militant commander who recently swore allegiance to Islamic State (IS), officials say.
AT News Report
KABUL: A commander of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afghanistan, Abdul Rauf Khadim, was killed in a drone strike in southern Helmand province, said a security official on Monday.
Helmand police chief said that six people were killed in the strike including Khadim, who was believed to have defected to the ISIS from the Taliban.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that Afghan forces targeted Khadim along with five other fighters in Sadat area of Kajaki district.
Media reports last month said that Khadim, the former Guantanamo detainee, had deflected to ISIS from the Taliban. The reports said that the commander was recruiting for ISIS, also known as Daish.
Those killed along with Abdul Rauf Khadim in the strike included brother-in-law of the militant commander and four Pakistani militants, Reuters quoted Helmand police chief, Nabi Jan Mullahkhel as saying.
The NDS said that the militant commander was in charge of Daish in southwestern Afghanistan.
According to reports the ISIS has recently named Hafiz Sayed as leader of ISIS in ‘Khorasan’ province— an old name for Afghanistan, and Abdul Rauf was named his deputy.
After being captured by US forces in 2001, Rauf spent six years in Guantanamo Bay.
The ISIS holds swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and is also active in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as well as Afpak region.
The new branches in Yemen and Sudia Arabia have not claimed any activities yet but the move represents a symbolic challenge to al-Qaeda.
Reports recently surfaced in national and international media that masked militants have raised the black flag of ISIS in Helmand, Farah, Ghazni, Logar, Kunduz and other provinces.