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Afghan Air Force Pounds IS Targets In Eastern Province

The Afghan Interior Ministry says that the air strikes killed at least 34 Islamic State fighters. (file photo)

Afghanistan's air force has pounded Islamic State (IS) targets in the eastern province of Nangarhar, where the extremist group's top commander was killed in a raid last month, Afghan authorities said.

The Interior Ministry said on May 8 that the air strikes killed at least 34 IS fighters over the past 24 hours and destroyed an IS radio station that had been illegally broadcasting the militant group's messages across the province.

The ministry said the air strikes targeted IS hideouts in the Nazyan and Achin districts.

The statement came after U.S. and Afghan officials announced on May 7 that a joint military operation last month killed Abdul Hasib, the IS chief in Nangarhar.

Hasib, who was appointed last year following the death of his predecessor Hafiz Saeed in a U.S drone strike, was killed in a raid by 50 U.S. Special Forces and 40 Afghan commandos, according to a joint statement by U.S. and Afghan armed forces.

A statement released by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office also confirmed Hasib's death, adding that he was "responsible for ordering the attack on the military hospital in Kabul that took place in March in which around 50 people were killed and many more wounded."

Meanwhile, in a separate development, at least six militants were killed by a U.S. drone strike in central Wardak Province on May 8, Afghan media reported, citing local officials.

Abdul Rahman Mangal, a spokesman for the provincial governor said "local Taliban commanders" were among those killed in the attack that targeted the militants in the provincial capital, Maidan Shahr.Mangal did not provide further details.

Based on reporting by AP and