An ISIS leader in Afghanistan was killed in a drone strike by the United States on Monday, according to media reports from the country.
Shahidullah Shahid, identified by CNN as a former Taliban spokesman, planned “a big war in the region and turned himself to a famous and central figure of the terrorist group [ISIS]” in Nangarhar province, according to the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security (NDS).
“He wanted to expand IS operation in the country and with his death, it will have an impact on their activities,” NDS representative Hasib Sediqi told Reuters.
The drone strike also killed another ISIS leader, Gul Zaman, who is described by Afghan officials as the deputy leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, according to The New York Times. The strike also killed about two dozen militants.
The Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that the U.S. had targeted a region south of Jalalabad on Monday and Tuesday, where the drone strikes were “against individuals threatening U.S. and coalition forces,” USA Today reports.
A senior Pakistani official said the strike was intended to hit an ISIS leadership council meeting, according to The New York Times.
“It was a pretty massive hit,” the unidentified official said, citing Afghani sources. “So many [ISIS] fighters and commanders have been killed in one go.”
Shahid released a statement in October expressing his support for ISIS fighters in Syria: “The Muslims of the world look to you with great expectation, and in this difficult time, we, your mujahidin brothers, are with you and will provide you with fighters and help,” the statement reads in part, according to CNN.
Photo Credit: TPP/Handout, EPA via USA Today