Afghanistan's intelligence agency said Saturday that a former Taliban leader thought to be ISIS' leader in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, CNN reported. According to CNN, Hafiz Saeed was killed along with 30 other insurgents in a strike on their compound in the Achin region of Nangarhar Province, the National Directorate of Security reported in a statement.
"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 reportedly said.
CNN reported U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus as saying American forces conducted a strike in Achin on Friday against "individuals threatening the force." He did not elaborate.According to analysts, the strike represents a seemingly big victory in Afghanistan's fight against ISIS, a terrorist group that has been blamed for numerous atrocities and conquered vast swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria while branching out with affiliates elsewhere.
VOA reported that the death, along with the killings of three other top commanders last week, will have a “major impact” on the group’s activities. The three commanders killed last week included Islamic State group military commander Gul Zaman; his deputy, Jahadyar, and Shahidullah Shahid, a former spokesman of the Pakistani Taliban who was ousted by them when he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
VOA says the Pentagon confirmed Friday that the U.S. conducted two drone strikes on July 6 and 7 but did not confirm who was killed in the strikes.