Former ISIS K leader executed by Taliban in ruthless prison firing squad

The former leader of a particularly violent and hardline regional affiliate of ISIS has been killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the militant group has announced.

Abu Omar Khorasani, a onetime leader of the Islamic State affiliate, ISIS K, was reportedly shot by the rival group in prison in Kabul.

ISIS K are a branch of Islamic State based in Afghanistan. It is the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in the country, according to the BBC.

The group was responsible for a suicide bomb attack that targeted crowds of desperate migrants trying to flee the Taliban at Kabul airport last month.

Khorasani was executed despite beliefs of his own that the Taliban would spare him because they are 'good Muslims,' but the groups disagree on how hard a line to take, with ISIS K believing the Taliban to be too soft for allowing girls to go to school, for example.

The Wall Street Journal reported that he was shot dead alongside eight lieutenants in Pul-i-Charkhi prison in the Afghan capital, where he was already on death row after being captured by a US and Afghan coalition last May.

Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen reported over the weekend that the former boss was among those killed, as confirmed to them by the Taliban.

WSJ said they spoke to Khorasani, also known as Zia ul-Haq, two days before he was slain. “They will let me free if they are good Muslims,” Khorasani said.

He reckoned that the advance of the Taliban was a harbinger for radical change but his reported execution could be evidence that the group do not intend to work with ISIS in any form, or evidence that the group's views differ.

Dr Rakib Ehsan, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, told The Sun Online: "ISIS-K are a different form of animal from the Taliban.

"Their ultimate goal is establish a global Islamic caliphate while the Taliban are solely focused on implementing sharia law in Afghanistan.

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"ISIS-K believes the Taliban is a reformist movement which betrays Islam and they are swooping up disillusioned (ex-members) who share this view.

"The Islamic State is focused on the destruction of western civilisation."

IS-K – Islamic State Khorasan Province – was set up in January 2015. Estimations on its strength vary between 2,200 to 3,00 members, while the Taliban is believed to have as many as 75,000, according to The Sun.

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