Afghanistan’s intelligence agency revealed in a statement on Saturday that a former Taliban leader thought to be an ISIS leader in Pakistan and Afghanistan was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
Hafiz Saeed was killed along with 30 other insurgents in a strike on their compound in the Achin region of Nangarhar Province, according to a statement of the National Directorate of Security.
“As a result of efforts made by the NDS, the location of ISIS fighters’ gathering was found and the information was shared with the coalition forces who then carried out an airstrike on them,” the Afghan agency said.
American forces conducted a strike in Achin on Friday against “individuals threatening the force,” said U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus.
Hafiz Saeed Khan “is alive,” claimed IS while rejecting the claims, according to the BBC.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told the U.S. Congress in March that the IS is a “terrible threat” to his country and the neighboring ones.
Though it hasn’t been so active as its Syrian and Iraqi counterparts, the ISIS branch in Afghanistan has established itself for its propensity for violence, including an incident last April where a suicide bomber in a motorbike killed 33 people and injured 100 more in front of the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan.
The Afghan government has fought back with the help of its allies. Earlier this month, a former Taliban spokesman linked to the group was killed in US air-strikes.
The recent death of Saeed announced on Saturday was apparently another milestone in Afghanistan’s fight against ISIS.