2 Indians who joined IS 'killed' in US airstrike in Afghanistan
The US has reportedly carried out seven airstrikes or drone attacks in the war-stricken country in the last seven days, which has reportedly killed 127 extremists. (Representative image) Photograph: (Reuters)
Two suspected fighters from India who joined the Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda were reportedly killed during a US airstrike in Afghanistan.
With Yahya and Abu Thahir's death, the number of Indian recruits in the last fortnight to have been killed in US strikes in Afghanistan has risen to four.
Police said they received an information last night about the death of Thahir in Syria.
But Indian investigators have yet to confirm Yahya's death.
Yahya's family members got a message about his death last night on Telegram, a social media application, BCA Rahiman , a social worker told Press Trust of India.
The sender of the message, Asfak, said Yahya was "martyred" in the US attack.
"He was killed while fighting the US forces," the message read.
It, however, does not specify as to when he was killed.
The US has ramped up its fight against Islamic State in Afghanistan in recent weeks, with the most devastating strike occurring in mid-April when an American warplane dropped the 'Mother of All Bombs' which reportedly left scores of IS militants dead.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the US carried out seven airstrikes or drone attacks in the war-stricken country in the last seven days, which has reportedly killed 127 extremists.
Yahya and Abu Thahir, both of whom hailed from Palakkad in Kerala, had reportedly joined Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, police said.
They were among the 21 people, including women and children from Kerala, who had travelled to the Middle East and went missing in 2016.
A fortnight ago, Murshid Muhammed from Padna in Kerala's Kasargod district was killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan.
WION's Ramesh Ramachandran has reported in the past about how India's southern state of Kerala has confounded Indian authorities by becoming a fertile ground for IS to recruit more fighters.
Despite high literacy rates and prosperity in the state when compared to the rest of the country, young men and women in Kerala have taken to IS' ultra-conservative Islamic interpretation as they have become disillusioned with local Islamic groups' more progressive agenda, his report had stated.
Another alarming aspect of Indians joining the Middle East-based jihadist organisation is that some of the young men and women had degrees in engineering, medicine or management with well-paying jobs.
In total, there are about 100 Indians who have joined IS as per an Indian government data.
(WION with inputs from PTI)