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US Drone Strikes Kill Afghan ISIS Leader

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

U.S. drone strikes killed an Afghan Islamic State (ISIS) leader and 10 other fighters Saturday night.

Abu Sayeed Orakzai was the fourth ISIS leader in Afghanistan killed since July 2017, according to the provincial governor of Nangarhar, NBC News reported Sunday.

The airstrikes were launched near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, according to Agence France-Presse, Fox News reported. Orakzai led Islamic State Khorsan (ISIS-K), which was responsible for a series of recent bombings that killed hundreds of civilians.

An ISIS-K fighter detonated explosives that injured 57 students and killed 34 in a private school, The Associated Press reported Aug. 16. (RELATED: Indiana Man Inspired By Florida Pulse Nightclub Massacre Sentenced For 15 Years)

The ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan has been active in the region since 2015 and had a stronghold on Pakistan’s eastern border.

The UN released a report Aug. 13 that estimated 3,500 to 4,500 ISIS fighters were in Afghanistan, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

The U.S. increased the number of airstrikes on Afghanistan after President Donald Trump removed restrictions that controlled the U.S. military to only strike Taliban forces under specific circumstances, CNN reported Nov. 21, 2017. The Taliban and local ISIS affiliates in Afghanistan faced 653 bombs, missiles and other weapons in October 2017 since the restrictions were removed as opposed to 203 in October 2016.

ISIS has lost about 90 percent of land bordering Iraq and Syria since June 2014, according to Fox. The Associated Press contributed to Fox’s report.

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