'ISIL commander' allegedly killed in Afghanistan

– An Afghan militant commander allegedly loyal to ISIL has been killed, according to Afghan officials

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – An Afghan militant commander purportedly loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been killed in southern Afghanistan, according to Afghan officials. 

There are conflicting reports about how Abdul Rauf Khadim, who only recently switched allegiances from the Taliban to ISIL, was killed. 

Major General Nabu Mulla Khail and the deputy governor of southern Helmand province have said that Khadim was killed by a drone strike by foreign forces.

Afghanistan's intelligence service have however claimed that Afghan forces killed Khadim in a special operation. 

“For the last month he was on our most wanted list and luckily we eliminated him today,” said a statement from Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security.

Khadim had been considered a close aide to Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and had been a senior commander during the Taliban regime. He was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay after the Taliban were forced from power by international troops in 2001. 

More recently Khadim had reportedly entered into feuds with local Taliban commanders before carving out his own separate group, which claimed to be allied to ISIL.

According to security analyst Javed Kohistani, Khadim was ISIL’s commander for Afghanistan and deputy to Hafiz Khan Saeed Orakzai, who commands both Afghanistan and Pakistan -- a region they refer to as greater Khorasan.

There had been conflicting reports about ISIL’s presence in Afghanistan. Local administration in Helmand and southeastern Ghazni and Paktika provinces have long voiced concerns about the presence of ISIL militants.

The security organizations there, however, came short of confirming the group's presence instead calling the new group of militants the “face-hidden-militants”. These groups are believed to comprise former Taliban militants who switched allegiances.

No militant groups or individuals have confirmed Khadim's death.

A day earlier, local media reported that Umar Khalid Khorasani, a commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant network was wounded in a joint Afghan and NATO operation in eastern Nangarhar province.

Khorasani is heading his own splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban network, widely known as Jamatul Ahrar. Like Khadim, Khorasani too is believed to have ties with the Arab militants.


Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency