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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Afghan troops kill senior Islamic state militant

In March, a lone Islamic State gunman rampaged through a Sikh house of worship [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 August, 2020

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Assadullah Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.
The Afghan intelligence service says it has killed a high ranking official with the Islamic State affiliate in an operation in eastern Afghanistan.

A statement released by the National Directorate of Security late Saturday said Assadullah Orakzai was an intelligence leader for the Islamic State 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% 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 the Islamic State group.

Read also: Calm across Afghanistan as ceasefire holds on day two

The report said the UN had recorded 17 attacks by IS 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 Islamic State gunman rampaged through a Sikh house of worship in the heart of the Afghan capital, killing 25 worshipers and wounding eight.

The gunman held many worshipers 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, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Afghan special forces rescued at least 80 worshipers 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.

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