Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security said the leader, Hafiz Saeed, was killed Friday in eastern Afghanistan with 30 other militants. Saeed led the Islamic State’s “Khorasan Province,” which is responsible for ISIS’ operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The enemy of Allah, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was exterminated Friday night,” declared a tweet from a prominent account affiliated with the Taliban. Other Taliban sympathizers accused the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan of promoting civil strife among Muslims there and in Pakistan. Supporters of al-Qaeda, another group rivaling ISIS, also celebrated online: “Thank god for getting rid of ISIS’ leader in Khorasan,” an al-Qaeda supporter said.
The Islamic State did not confirm the leader was killed. But his alleged death marks a seemingly significant step in Afghanistan’s fight against ISIS.