Indian-born Islamic State jihadist 'killed in Afghan air strike'

Representative image: A jet fighter in action. Photograph:( Others )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 26, 2017, 11.28 AM (IST)

An Indian-born Islamic State operative was killed in an air strike in Afghanistan, one of his family members said on Sunday.

Hafeesuddin TK, one of the 20 men who had joined the Middle East-based jihadist organisation from India's southern Kerala state, had left his newly-married wife to join the so-called 'Caliphate'. 

One of his cousins said that Hafeesuddin's mother received a message about his death on Sunday.

The message from Afghanistan said that he had already been buried in Afghanistan, his cousin told The New Indian Express. 

India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) -- an anti-terror agency -- said it had received information from the parents of the deceased IS fighter about the message from Afghanistan.

It said they would corroborate with Interpol to confirm his death.

The location of Indian militants with the IS remains unclear, but some reports suggest they are based in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar.

Hafeesuddin's parents and wife had snapped all ties with him when the Kasargod native informed them that he had joined Islamic State.

His newly-married wife decided to not tag along with him to the Middle East and instead went back to Saudi Arabia, where she was born and brought up.

IS' breeding ground in India

Hafeesuddin was one of the 20 men who hailed from Kasargod district in Kerala to join Islamic State.

Well-educated people and even adolescent boys from the district had joined the jihadist organisation, according to Kerala's intelligence units.