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IS leader in Afghanistan and Pakistan killed in drone strike

The leader of the so-called Islamic State militant group in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been killed in a US drone strike, according to an Afghan official.

Hafiz Saeed Khan had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State Credit: Reuters

Hafiz Saeed Khan, along with a number of senior commanders and fighters, was said to have been hit in an eastern Afghan province.

A former member of the Pakistani branch of the Taliban who later swore allegiance to IS, Khan had also been reported killed last year, but the death was never confirmed.

Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, told reporters the fatal strike had taken place on July 26.

I can confirm that ISIS Khurasan leader Hafiz Saeed Khan along with his senior commanders and fighters died in a US drone strike on July 26 in Kot district of Afghanistan's Nangharhar province.

– Omar Zakhilwal, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan

Pentagon spokesperson Gordon Trowbridge confirmed Khan's death.

The death is a blow to the efforts of so-called Islamic State to expand from its heartlands in Syria and Iraq, and into Afghanistan and Pakistan.



Afridi steps down as Pakistan T20 captain

Shahid Afridi. Credit: PA

Shahid Afridi has announced he will continue playing for Pakistan but has stepped down as the captain of the Twenty20 side.

The 36-year-old had hinted in the past that he would retire following the World Twenty20 campaign and after Pakistan's disappointing exit he said he would take his time before coming to a decision.

But Afridi, who has made just one Test appearance since 2006 as he focused on white-ball cricket and has not played a one-day international in over a year, revealed in a statement on his official Twitter page that he had decided to continue in the game's shortest format but relinquished the captaincy.

Taliban group threaten PM and media after Easter bombing

The Taliban faction who claimed to have carried out Easter Sunday's bomb attack in Pakistan have issued a new threat, singling out the nation's media and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"Everyone will get their turn in this war, especially the slave Pakistani media," Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for extremist group Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, tweeted. "We are just waiting for the appropriate time."

Funerals have been held for the 70 victims of the attack, the most deadly since a Taliban massacre at a school killed 134 students in 2014. Credit: Reuters

Sunday's attack, which killed 70 people including 29 children, led to at least 160 raids that targeted anyone suspected of Islamist extremism after Mr Sharif announced new powers for arrests and interrogations.

Ehsan issued a direct to the Pakistani prime minister, tweeting: "Let Nawaz Sharif know that this war has now come to the threshold of his home. The winners of this war will, God willing, be the righteous mujahideen."

216 held after Pakistan military detain more than 5,000

Pakistan has held 216 suspects after a major sweep by the military and the police saw more than 5,000 detained over the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack.

More than 70 people were killed after the suicide blast outside a public park in Lahore on Easter Sunday. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to crack down on Islamist militants in the country after the attack claimed the lives of more than 70 people, including 29 children.

Mr Sharif announced new powers for the military to arrest and interrogate suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the bombing in a busy park in Lahore.

Rana Sanaullah, a state minister for Punjab province, confirmed 216 suspects had been referred for further investigation after the widespread raids over 48 hours by police, counter-terrorism and intelligence agents.

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