The Tailban have killed an Islamic State group leader who masterminded the Kabul airport suicide bombing that left 13 US service members dead.
The US military informed the families of the 11 marines, the sailor and the soldier killed in the blast during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
About 170 Afghans were also killed in the bombing outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on 26 August 2021.
Family members of the US service members shared the information in a private group messaging chat, according to one marine’s mother.
The account from the families was confirmed by US officials, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The IS leader, whose identity has not yet been released, was killed in southern Afghanistan in early April.
The Taliban were conducting a series of operations against the Islamic State group, according to one of the officials.
At the time, the Taliban were not aware of the identity of the person they killed, the official added.
‘It’s not going to bring Taylor back’
The attack at Abbey Gate took place as thousands of Afghans tried to board crowded flights to flee the country after the Taliban’s takeover.
At the time, the UK, the US and other nations were carrying out the evacuations of thousands of citizens.
Darin Hoover, the father of staff sergeant Darin Taylor Hoover who died in the attack, said the killing of the unidentified Islamic State group leader does nothing to help them.
He said: “Whatever happens, it’s not going to bring Taylor back and I understand that.
“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.”
Mr Hoover said he and his son’s mother, Kelly Henson, have spent the past year and a half grieving the death of the 31-year-old and praying for accountability from Joe Biden’s administration for the handling of the withdrawal.
Suicide bomber who targeted Kabul airport acted alone
He added that the marines provided only limited information to him on Tuesday and did not identify the leader or give the circumstances of his death.
The blast at Abbey Gate came hours after western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. ISIS claimed responsibility.
But many Afghans were desperate to escape the country in the last few days of an American-led evacuation before the US officially ended its 20-year presence.