Taliban kills ISIS-K 'mastermind' behind deadly airport evacuation bombing

The ISIS-K leader who planned the suicide bombing at Kabul airport which left 183 people dead has been killed by the Taliban.

The attack, which was carried out as the US withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, killed 170 citizens and 13 members of the US army.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby didn’t name the leader but called him the ‘mastermind of the horrific attack’.

The terrorist who carried out the suicide bombing, Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri, had been released from prison only days earlier.

The US military informed the families of the service members killed over the weekend, which has been confirmed by three anonymous officials and one senior congressional aide.

Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sergeant Darin Taylor Hoover who was killed in the attack, said the marines provided only limited information to him on Tuesday and did not identify the ISIS-K leader or give the circumstances of his death.

The Taliban at the time were not aware of the identity of the person they killed, according to one of the officials said.

He died in southern Afghanistan in early April as the Taliban conducted a series of operations against the group, the official added.

Cheryl Rex, the mother of Marine Lance Corporal Dylan Merola who died in the blast, said the families were all told the ISIS-K leader had died in a group chat.

The killing of the unidentified militia leader, Mr Hoover said, does nothing to help them.

‘Whatever happens, it’s not going to bring Taylor back and I understand that,’ he said.

‘About the only thing his mom and I can do now is be an advocate for him. All we want is the truth. And we’re not getting it. That’s the frustrating part.’

The leader was a member of ISIS-K, which is the terror organisation’s affiliate active in Afghanistan and the surrounding regions.

Since the US’s withdrawal, the Taliban has attempted to eradicate the group but have so far been unsuccessful.

The service members were among those screening the thousands of Afghans frantically trying on August 26 2021 to get on to one of the crowded flights out of the country after the Taliban takeover.

The scene of desperation quickly turned into one of horror when a suicide bomber attacked.

The blast at Abbey Gate came hours after western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport.

The August 2021 pullout of US troops led to the swift collapse of the Afghan government and military, which the US had supported for nearly two decades, and the return to power of the Taliban.

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