This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The Afghan National Army says a leading spokesman for the affiliate of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan has been killed in a drone strike.
An army statement on December 27 said Sultan Aziz Azam was killed the day before in an “IS hideout” in the Pachiragam district of the eastern province of Nangarhar.
The statement said that “acting upon intelligence reports, unnamed planes targeted” Azam, “the mouthpiece of the hard-liner group for Afghanistan.”
Nasrat Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said Azam was also in charge of recruiting militants for high-profile attacks in urban areas.
There was no immediate statement from IS or from U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Nangarhar is the stronghold of IS militants, who are active on Afghanistan’s porous eastern border with Pakistan.
The U.S. military estimates that there are about 2,000 IS militants in Afghanistan.
The hard-line Sunni group has targeted minority Shi’ite civilians and government security forces in deadly attacks since it emerged around 2015.