News / Asia

    Officials: Afghan IS Leader Killed in Drone Strike

    Ayaz Gul

    Officials in eastern Afghanistan say a U.S. drone strike Thursday killed Islamic State’s top commander in the area, which the militants call Khorasan, along with at least 11 other insurgents.

    The missile attack by the unmanned aircraft occurred in Achin, a volatile district in a remote part of Nangarhar province, where IS is believed to have set up its headquarters.

    U.S. military officials in Kabul confirmed an airstrike was launched in that area Thursday, but said they were unable to determine whether Islamic State's local commander, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was among the casualties.

    A spokesman (Attaullah Khogyani) for the Nangarhar province governor told VOA it was officially determined that Hafiz Saeed Khan, the IS emir for Khorasan, and his fighters were hit by the missile, which caused a massive explosion in Achin's Bandar locality when it hit at about 4 p.m., local time, villagers told reporters.

    The pace of missile attacks by U.S. drones has increased recently, and scores of militants at IS bases in Nangarhar are reported to have been killed.

    The Islamic State group did not have any immediate comment about Thursday's drone strike. Khan, a former Taliban commander who switched sides to join the Islamic State more than a year ago, was said to have been killed six months ago, but the terror group denied that report at the time.

    According to a map the Islamic State issued early last year, Khorasan consists of areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

    In Washington, the U.S. government announced Thursday that Islamic State - Khorasan is now formally listed as a foreign terrorist organization. It said Islamic State's regional operatives are primarily former members of the Afghan Taliban and the Tehrik-e-Taliban group in Pakistan Pakistan.

    Islamic State - Khorasan, which is about one year old, said its first major attack in Afghanistan, on Wednesday, targeted Pakistan’s consulate in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar.

    The Islamists said three of their members, including a suicide bomber, took part in the raid, and they claimed seven Afghan security personnel were killed and 10 others were wounded. Pakistani officials said none of the consulate staff was injured.

    Hours after the incident in Jalalabad on Wednesday, the Afghan air force said it attacked a suspected IS base in the Kot district, killing around a dozen extremists.

    Khan was one of five mid-ranking commanders from the outlawed Pakistani Taliban to defect and join the Islamic State in 2014.  He commanded Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous Orakzai tribal district and was appointed Islamic State's emir for Khorasan in January 2015.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora