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Afghan Militant With Suspected IS Ties Killed in Drone Attack

A drone-fired missile killed an influential Afghan militant in southern Helmand province Monday, local officials said.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdul Rauf was killed, along with five others, while traveling in a car in Eland province, the police chief said. He did not provide additional information.

Afghanistan's main intelligence agency said in a statement Rauf was in charge of Islamic State militants in the violence-plagued province in southwestern Afghanistan and he was killed just after midday in an operation carried out by Afghan forces.

Rauf, who had been influential in Afghanistan's jihadi movement for well over a decade, is suspected of having recently defected from the Taliban to the Islamic State group and was helping recruit for them, local officials and media reported.

The United States operates drones over Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to Reuters for requests for comment.

The Islamic State group, which controls a third of Syria and Iraq, has a small but growing presence in parts of Afghanistan, officials and tribal sources told The Associated Press last month.

Some material for this report came from Reuters and AP.