Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

Afghan troops kill an ISIS intel chief in Jalalabad

Assadullah Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets

The Afghan intelligence service says it has killed a high-ranking official with the ISIS affiliate in an operation in eastern Afghanistan.

A statement released by the National Directorate of Security late on Saturday said Assadullah Orakzai was an intelligence leader for ISIS and special forces killed him near Jalalabad.

Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.

Last week, a United Nations report said Afghanistan saw a 13 per cent drop in the number of civilians killed and wounded in violence across the country in the first six months of the year, compared to the same period last year.

The report credited the drop in casualties in part to the reduction of operations by international forces – which now only act when called upon and in support of the Afghan forces – and also to a decrease in the number of attacks by ISIS.

The report said the UN had recorded 17 attacks by ISIS causing civilian casualties during the first six months of 2020, down from 97 attacks in the same period last year. Overall, the UN said 1,282 people were killed in violence in the first six months of 2020 in Afghanistan and 2,176 were wounded.

In March, a lone ISIS gunman rampaged through a Sikh house of worship in the heart of the Afghan capital, killing 25 worshippers and wounding eight.

The gunman held many worshippers hostage for several hours while Afghan special forces, helped by international troops, tried to clear the building. At least one of the dead was a child.

Within hours, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Afghan special forces rescued at least 80 worshippers who had been trapped inside the Sikh house of worship, known as a Gurdwara, as the gunman lobbed grenades and fired his automatic rifle into the crowd.

Updated: August 2, 2020 10:59 AM

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