ISLAMABAD: Eleven suspected militants, including the son of Lashkar-e-Islam chief Mangal Bagh, were killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Thursday, Afghan officials said.
According to Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khugyani, Bagh’s son Ajnabi and 10 ‘Dai’sh militants’ were killed in the province’s Achin district. The American drone fired two missiles, he said, one aimed at a meeting and another at a vehicle in the district’s Abdulkhelo area.
24 militants killed in US drone strikes in NW, Pak-Afghan border
Achin Governor Ghalib Mujahid also confirmed that the drone hit “a house where Dai’sh militants were holding a meeting” while talking to Voice of America’s Pashto service.
The strikes were carried out a day after Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack on Pakistan’s consulate in Jalalabad.
Neither IS nor LeI released any statement in response to the Afghan officials’ claims. Reports of the death of Mangal Bagh’s son could not be independently verified as well.
Achin district is believed to be a stronghold of IS in Afghanistan. Afghan officials claim that the majority of militants joining up with the ultra-radical group in Afghanistan are
Unmanned war: US drone kills five in Nangarhar
“Up to 80 per cent of Dai’sh fighters and leader present in Afghanistan have come to us from the Pakistani side of the Durand Line,” outgoing Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai told a seminar in Islamabad on Wednesday.
LeI chief Mangal Bagh has been in hiding for years. Officials believe he is operating from inside Afghanistan. According to Taliban sources, he merged his group into the Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2016.