The United States military confirmed that a major ISIS leader was killed in a raid by U.S. special forces. Afghan forces also participated in the raid just over a week go, but the American military was only able to confirm the death yesterday.
Abdul Hasib was the head of Islamic State in Afghanistan. He took the leadership position of ISIS last year after the American military killed his predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan with a drone. He was responsible for a number of ISIS attacks on civilians, including one on a Kubul hospital in March.
Hasib was killed April 27 in the U.S. Special Forces raid in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.
Last month, a Pentagon spokesman said Hasib had probably been killed during the raid by U.S. and Afghan special forces in Nangarhar during which two U.S. army Rangers were killed, but prior to Sunday’s announcement there had been no confirmation.
“This successful joint operation is another important step in our relentless campaign to defeat ISIS-K in 2017,” the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson said in a statement from U.S. military headquarters in Kabul.
The statement, following an earlier announcement by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, said Hasib directed the March 8 attack on the main Kabul military hospital by a group of militants disguised as doctors. Dozens of medical staff and patients were killed in the attack.
It said he also ordered fighters to behead local elders in front of their families and kidnap women and girls to force them to marry ISIS fighters.
U.S. and Afghan special forces, backed by drone strikes and other air support, have waged a series of operations against IS-K since March, killing dozens of their fighters, mainly in Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan.
Defeating the group remains one of the top U.S. priorities in Afghanistan and last month the United States dropped its largest non-nuclear device on a network of caves and tunnels used by ISIS in Nangarhar, killing 94 fighters, including four commanders.
Hundreds of fighters had been killed or captured this year and the offensive was continuing, with over half the districts controlled by ISIS-K retaken, allowing residents in some places to return for the first time in two years.