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Pentagon: Islamic State's Afghan leader killed in April raid

By Mike Bambach
Pentagon: Islamic State's Afghan leader killed in April raid
An Afghan army helicopter hovers over the Kabul Military Hospital during a March 8 attack by suspected militants led by Sheikh Abdul Hasib. Photo by Hedayatullah Amid/EPA

May 7 (UPI) -- Afghan and U.S. special forces killed the Islamic State's leader in Afghanistan during a raid in April, military officials said Sunday.

Sheikh Abdul Hasib was the target of the April 27 attack, but the Pentagon didn't confirm his death until Sunday.

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Two U.S. soldiers were killed during the raid, the military said, possibly from friendly fire.

Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Hasib's death marked "another important step in our relentless campaign to defeat" the Islamic State -- also known as ISIS and ISIL -- in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon estimates nearly 800 IS fighters are based in Afghanistan.

Hasib was killed within a mile of where the United States dropped the "mother of all bombs" on April 13.

He is suspected of directing a March 8 attack on a military hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, that killed 50 people.

"He was responsible for ordering the attack on the 400-bed hospital in Kabul, kidnapped girls and beheaded elders in front of their families," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office said in a statement.

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