Islamic State's leader in Afghanistan killed

On Sunday, both Afghan and US military officials confirmed the head of IS in Afghanistan, Sheikh Abdul Hasib, was killed in the April 27 combined attack against a cave-and-tunnel complex in Achin.

The Interior Ministry stated that the airstrikes killed 34 ISIS fighters over the past 24 hours and destroyed an insurgent-controlled radio station in Nangarhar province.

US Forces-Afghanistan officials claim defections and recent battlefield losses have reduced the local ISIS presence from a peak of as many as 3,000 fighters to a maximum of 800.

Hasib, who has led the group since his predecessor Hafiz Khan was killed by a U.S. drone strike previous year, is believed to have ordered the deadly attack on a Kabul military hospital in March.

The Hamza operations were launched almost one month ago in response to the growing threats posed by ISIS loyalists in Nangarhar province.

The US Army said this is the second regional Islamic State chief they have killed in eight months - Hasib's predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan was lead dead during an operation in 2016.

General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Logari was the second leader of IS in Afghanistan to be killed in the last nine months.

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FILE - Security forces inspect the site of an Islamic State-claimed attack on a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 8, 2017.

"He was responsible for ordering the attack on the 400-bed hospital in Kabul, kidnapped girls and beheaded elders in front of their families", the President's office said.

"For more than two years, ISIS-K has waged a barbaric campaign of death, torture and violence against the Afghan people, especially those in eastern Nangarhar, noted General Nicholson".

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Afghanistan late last month for a strategic review of America's longest war, which has dragged on for 16 years. "With our Afghan partners, we've been able to reduce that territory significantly and inflict heavy casualties on them to include killing their leaders", Nicholson said at the time, adding that the majority of the high-profile attacks in Afghanistan are carried out by the Haqqani network, which operates from across the border in Pakistan.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander in Afghanistan general John Nicholson confirmed the killing of Hasib and warned that "any ISIS member that comes to Afghanistan will meet the same fate".

"The death of Abdul Hasib does not make a difference for the Daesh group in Afghanistan", Kabul-based writer and analyst Ahmad Saeedi told AFP, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

During the operation on April 27, two U.S. Army Rangers were accidentally killed by friendly fire during the more than three-hour fight.

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