Confirmed today, the leader of ISIS’ branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan was killed in a U.S. drone strike last month, a U.S. Defense official confirmed to Fox News.
Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal told Reuters that Afghan security forces confirmed the death of Hafiz Saeed Khan. Khan was killed in the drone strike on July 26.
“I can confirm that ISIS Khurasan leader Hafiz Saeed Khan along with his senior commanders and fighters died in a US drone strike on July 26 in Kot district of Afghanistan’s Nangharhar province,” Zakhilwal told Reuters.
His death will hurt ISIS’ efforts to expand into Afghanistan as well as Pakistan since U.S. and Afghan leaders were concerned about the spread of its jihadist push into Afghanistan.
Khan, a former member of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban was reported dead last year, but his death was never confirmed. He declared allegiance to ISIS in 2014.
General Mohammad Zaman Wazir told Afghan Tolo TV news channel that he died along with 23 other ISIS militants in the drone strike.
“At least 23 Daesh commanders, including the commander of Khurasan faction Hafiz Saeed, were killed in foreign troops’ drone strikes and their bodies are still there,” Wazir said.