UNITED STATES: The U.S. military said that it has killed an IS-K planner in a drone strike it conducted in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.
The suspected member of the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group was targeted in the drone strike.
The IS-K said it had carried out an attack outside Kabul airport on Thursday killing as many as 170 people, including 13 U.S. troops and dozens of Afghans who were trying to leave the county, in what the Pentagon says was a single suicide bombing rather than the two previously reported.
Large crowds milled around Kabul’s international airport on Friday despite repeated warnings by the U.S. of more terrorist attacks.
A mass airlift has been under way at the airport since Taliban militants overran the capital this month.
In the past two weeks, more than 100,000 people are believed to have been evacuated, as the U.S. forces are coerced under the deadline set by the U.S. to leave Afghanistan expiring on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden promised to complete the U.S. evacuation mission in Afghansitan and pledged to hunt down the jihadists behind Thursday’s suicide bombing. “We will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay,” said the president on Friday.
He said another attack in Kabul can be expected in the coming days.
Roughly 5,000 US troops are still stationed at Kabul airport, “we are providing swift passage to every foreigner to leave Afghanistan in the next 48 hours,” an unnamed Western official told Reuters.
IS-K, or Islamic State Khorasan Province, is the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan.
Capt Bill Urban of Central Command said: “The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”
He described it as an “over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation”.
A Reaper drone, launched from the Middle East, struck the militant who was with another IS member in a car, killing them both, an official told Reuters news agency.
IS-K’s several thousand extremists are believed to be in hiding in the east province of Kabul.