Afghan official says that highest-ranking IS figure in Afghanistan killed in US strike
Afghan official says that highest-ranking IS figure in Afghanistan killed in US strike
Islamic State group releases audio claiming Afghan leader still alive after US airstrike

Based on Reports Published between Sat Jul 11 13:40:55 2015 and Mon Jul 13 13:46:14 2015

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Information from Sat Jul 11 13:40:55 2015 :

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ranking leader among local militants loyal to the Islamic State group was killed in an airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.

Abdul Hassib Sediqi, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security, said on Saturday that Hafeez Sayeed was one of more than 30 militants killed in a U. S. strike Friday in Nangarhar province.

On Tuesday, Afghan officials said another U. S. airstrike in Nangarhar province killed the second-highest official in the local Islamic State affiliate, Gul Zaman, and six others, including a former Pakistani Taliban spokesman. Afghan government officials have claimed the presence of Islamic State group activity in at least three provinces of the country, but the existence of an active Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has not been confirmed.

The Taliban, at war with the Afghan government for nearly 14 years, have warned the IS group to stay out of Afghanistan.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 15:41:50 2015 :
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Afghan intelligence officials said Saturday that a U. S. airstrike killed the top leader of a local Islamic State affiliate and more than 30 other militants near the country's rugged eastern border with Pakistan.

NATO officials declined to immediately comment on the claim, saying they would issue a statement later Saturday.

U. S. officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The , at war with the government for nearly 14 years, have warned the Islamic State group to stay out. and , is making inroads into Afghanistan and is active in at least three provinces. Both groups want Islamic rule but the Taliban do not recognize the Islamic State group's self-declared "caliphate."

Meanwhile Saturday, a bomb exploded near a religious school in Kandahar, killing three children and wounding six, said Samim Khpolwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Kandahar province. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban insurgents use such bombs to target Afghan soldiers and police forces, but often kill civilians in the blasts.

Associated Press writer Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.

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Information from Sat Jul 11 20:42:00 2015 :
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Afghanistan said Saturday that recent U. S. airstrikes it assisted destroyed the top leadership of a fledging Islamic State affiliate there, potentially striking a major blow to an insurgent group already targeted by local Taliban fighters.

"With the killings of Hafiz Sayeed, Gul Zaman and Shahidullah Shahid, who were the high-profile figures of Daesh in Afghanistan, we have destroyed the base of ISIS," said Abdul Hassib Sediqi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, using two alternate names for the militant group. Sediqi offered no photographs or other evidence to show the strikes killed the Islamic State affiliate's top leaders, though he said Afghan authorities verified a corpse from Friday's strike was Sayeed.

Militants with the group have not discussed the strikes online.

U. S. Army Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for U. S. Forces-Afghanistan, confirmed Americans carried out an airstrike Friday in Nangarhar's Achin District, but declined to comment further. and neighboring Iraq, has inspired militants across the greater and Africa to declare allegiance to its leader, .

The militants include those in Egypt who purportedly claimed a car bombing early Saturday at the Italian Consulate in Cairo that killed one person.

They also include militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the target of a U. S.-led invasion after the 2001 al-Qaida terror attacks on America.

Disenchanted extremists from the Taliban and other organizations, impressed by the Islamic State group's territorial gains and slick online propaganda, began raising its black flag in extremist-dominated areas of both countries in recent months.

Analysts and officials say the number of Islamic State supporters in the Afghan-Pakistan region remains small and that the group faces resistance from militants with strong tribal links. However, the rise of even a small Islamic State affiliate could further destabilize the region and complicate U. S. and NATO efforts to end the 13-year Afghan war. In April, a motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a line of people waiting outside a bank in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 35 and wounding 125 in an assault the country's president blamed on the Islamic State group.

Afghan officials have suggested the Islamic State affiliate had a presence in three of its provinces, including Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan and frequently sees militants cross its borders.

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