Isis loses its fourth Afghan leader in less than 18 months

The Khogyani district in Nangarhar province where Isis weapons and ammunition were found

The head of ISIS in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed Orakzai, also known as Sad Arhabi, and 10 other ISIS fighters were killed Saturday night in an airstrike in Nangarhar province, according to provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani.

"The emir of Daesh in Afghanistan - along with 10 others - was killed", it said, using the armed group's Arabic acronym.

The agency also said a large number of weapons, ammunition and explosives were destroyed by the air attacks.

The group's Amaq's news agency carried no comment on the issue, and there was no immediate reaction from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission that trains and advises Afghan forces.

US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell confirmed that the US targeted a "senior leader of a designated terrorist organization" in Afghanistan on August 25.

Arhabi is the fourth leader of IS's Afghan branch to be killed since the group first emerged in the country around 2014.

Former ISIS-K leader Abu Sayed was killed in a strike in the eastern province of Nangarhar and Sayed's predecessors were killed in joint USA and Afghan operations.

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IS has a relatively small but potent presence in Afghanistan, mainly in Nangarhar but more recently in the northern province of Jowzjan.

Hours before Saturday's air strikes, the group claimed a deadly suicide attack that appeared to target a sit-in protest outside an election commission office in the city of Jalalabad.

This was the third Daesh leader in Afghanistan to be killed in less than two years.

The group, however, has suffered repeated setbacks amid a bloody turf war with the much larger Taliban.

The exact number of ISIS fighters in Afghanistan is hard to calculate because they frequently switch allegiances, but the United States military estimates that there are about 2,000.

In March, the U.S. military released rare footage of USA special operators and Afghan Special Security Forces carrying out a nighttime raid on ISIS-affiliated fighters in Afghanistan.

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