The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Afghanistan and Pakistan was killed in a US drone strike on July 26, US and Afghan officials have confirmed.

Hafiz Saeed Khan, ISIL’s Khorasan Province leader, was killed in Kot district of Afghanistan’s Nangharhar province, according to Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, the top Afghan diplomat in Pakistan.

He told Reuters news agency on Friday that Saeed’s senior commanders and fighters were also killed in the drone strike.

A US defence official confirmed to Reuters that the July 26 drone strike killed Saeed.

The so-called Khorasan Province was created by ISIL, also known as ISIS, in 2015 encompassing areas in Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia.

Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul on Saturday, said the drone strike was part of a wider operation against ISIL in Nangarhar that has killed nearly 300 fighters, including some of the group’s leadership.

“The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General John W Nicholson estimates that about 25 percent of the ISIL fighters in Afghanistan have been killed in the drone strikes.

ISIS leader in Afghanistan and Pakistan killed by US drone, Pentagon says

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Image courtesy of EPA