The leader of the Islamic State (Isis) in Afghanistan, Sheikh Abdul Hasib, was killed in a raid by Afghan special security forces and US troops in April, military authorities have confirmed.
The operation resulted in the deaths of several high-ranking leaders of Isis-K, the terror group's regional operation, and 35 Isis fighters.
Hasib orchestrated a number of attacks to challenge President Ashraf Ghani's authority, the New York Times reported. In March, he oversaw the deadly massacre at the main Afghan Army hospital in Kabul that left at least 50 dead.
Fifty US Army rangers and 40 Afghan commandos were dropped into Nangarhar province by helicopter on 13 April about a mile from where the the MOAB, or "mother of all bombs" was dropped, CNN reported.
The Pentagon said the rangers were under heavy fire within minutes of the helicopter drop and called in support from an AC-130 aircraft, F-16 fighter jets, drones and Apache helicopters. The Pentagon confirmed that Hasib was the target of the raid but did not verify his death until Sunday (7 May).
A statement by Ghani's office also confirmed the death and said the government had been waiting for verification before making the announcement. It added that the Isis-K leader "was responsible for ordering the attack on the 400-bed hospital in Kabul, kidnapped girls and beheaded elders in front of their families".
CNN quoted the Pentagon saying two US soldiers died in the raid, possibly from friendly fire. They were identified as American Army Rangers Sgt Joshua Rodgers and Sgt Cameron Thomas.
"This is the second Isis-K emir we have killed in nine months, along with dozens of their leaders and hundreds of their fighters," Gen John Nicholson, Commander US Forces-Afghanistan, said.
"For more than two years, Isis-K has waged a barbaric campaign of death, torture and violence against the Afghan people, especially those in southern Nangarhar."
Hasib's predecessor, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was killed in July 2016 in a US airstrike.