US strike targets IS member in Afghanistan

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The United States has launched a drone strike against an Islamic State attack "planner" in eastern Afghanistan, a day after a suicide bombing at Kabul airport killed 13 US troops and scores of Afghan civilians.

President Joe Biden vowed on Thursday that the US would hunt down those responsible for the attack, saying he had ordered the Pentagon to come up with plans to strike at the perpetrators.

US Central Command said the strike took place on Friday in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul and bordering Pakistan. It did not say whether the target was connected with the airport attack.

"Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties," a US military statement said.

Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), an affiliate of militants who previously battled US forces in Syria and Iraq, said it had carried out Thursday's attack, which killed dozens of people - including Afghans who were trying to leave the country.

In addition to the 13 US troops killed, 18 injured were flown to Germany.

There are about 5000 US troops at Kabul's airport, helping to evacuate American citizens, at-risk Afghans and other nationalities before Biden's Tuesday deadline.

Thursday's attack marked the first US military casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020 and represented the deadliest incident for American troops there in a decade.

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