Afghan intelligence agency said on Saturday the chief of Islamic State for Orakzai and the self-styled Khorasan region (Pakistan, Afghanistan and some adjoining regions), Hafiz Saeed Khan, was killed in a US drone strike.
“Based on NDS (National Directorate of Security) intelligence, Hafiz Saeed, the leader of IS in so called Khorasan state was killed in an air strike in Achin, Nangarhar province,” the NDS said in a statement posed online.
As per the NDS statement, the intelligence agency passed on information to the foreign forces about a meeting of Islamic State leaders which was being attended by Hafiz Saeed Khan. “Coalition forces bombed the meeting,” the NDS said.
There is no word from Islamic State on the NDS claim.
Sayeed is the second top IS leader who has been killed in drone strike in three days.
“Daish no 1 in Afghanistan, Hafiz Saeed, was killed in a drone strike in Nangarhar,” Afghan news agency Tolo News said, quoting Afghan spy agency, NDS.
Further details on the drone strike are yet to be known and no official confirmation has been given by the Afghan government.
The drone strike comes days after former TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid was killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province on the Pakistan, Afghanistan border.
Earlier in the year, leaders of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in Bajaur had declared allegiance to the Islamic State .
“Chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Bajaur Maulana Abu Bakar and his deputy Qari Zahid, all members of the central ‘shura’ (council), commanders, scholars and judges of the Islamic court have recognised Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as Khalifa,” Daish spokesperson for the region Shahidullah Shahid had said then.
Maulana Abu Bakar, an influential Taliban leader, was appointed TTP Bajaur’s chief by Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in November 2013.
TTP Bajaur leaders declared allegiance to Hafiz Saeed Khan, leader of the Islamic State for Khorasan region, Shahid had told The Express Tribune via phone.
Hafiz Saeed Khan, former TTP chief for Orakzai Agency, was an influential in TTP ranks. The chief along with five senior leaders, including Shahidullah Shahid, joined Daish in October last year.
Daish confirm Shahidullah Shahid’s death
A purported Daish spokesperson told The Express Tribune from Afghanistan that the ‘Ameer’ was alive, but confirmed that Shahid had been killed.
“Our Ameer sahib is alive and I talked to him five minutes ago,” the spokesperson claimed. Introducing himself as Shahidullah Shahid as well, he explained the moniker as “all our spokesmen will use the name of Shahidullah Shahid as per our policy.”
“I can confirm that our central spokesperson, Shahidullah Shahid has embraced martyrdom in air strikes by the Americans, British and foreign forces.”