Afghanistan: 'Isis-K planner' killed in US drone strike as President Joe Biden promised

The US military says it believes it has killed a planner for the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group in a drone strike in the east of the country.

The suspected member of the IS-K group was targeted in Nangarhar province.

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IS-K said it had carried out an attack outside Kabul airport on Thursday that may have killed as many as 170 people, including 13 US troops.

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, with the deadline set by the US for its forces to leave Afghanistan expiring on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden promised on Friday to hunt down the jihadists behind Thursday’s suicide bombing.

IS-K, or Islamic State Khorasan Province, is the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan.

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The US drone strike is the first reported in Afghanistan since Thursday’s blast.

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 while he was in a car with another IS member, killing them both, an official told Reuters news agency.

Most of IS-K’s several thousand extremists are believed to be in hiding in the province, east of Kabul.

Twin bombs exploded near the perimeter of Kabul airport, hours after warnings from Western governments.

Thursday’s blast outside Kabul airport tore through crowds of men, women and children.

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