Hamdullah Mokhlis, an associate of the hardline Haqqani network and an officer in the Badri Corps special forces, is the most senior figure to have been killed since the Taliban seized Kabul.
A senior Taliban commander who was one of the first Taliban officials to enter the presidential palace during the fall of Kabul in August has died in the Daesh suicide attack.
Hamdullah Mokhlis' killing could be a significant blow to the armed group since he is the first senior figure who fell prey to Daesh on Wednesday, two months after the Taliban came to power.
Mokhlis was seen sitting on former US-backed President Ashraf Ghani’s chair, signalling a major power shift.
"When he got the information that Sardar Daud Khan Hospital was under attack, Maulvi Hamdullah (Mokhlis), the commander of the Kabul corps, immediately rushed to the scene," the Taliban media official said.
At least 25 people were killed and more than 50 wounded when shooters attacked Afghanistan's most prominent military hospital after two heavy explosions.
The explosions hit the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital entrance followed by an assault by a group of Daesh gunmen, all of whom were killed within 15 minutes, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
#AFG ISIS-K has now succeeded in its first high value target by killing Taliban’s most senior charismatic leader. This must have scared the hell out of the Taliban leadership. The following events needs to be watched closely in the coming days, weeks and months. pic.twitter.com/Mrw7p5512A— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) November 3, 2021
He also said the group’s special forces dropped into the site via helicopter and prevented the attackers from entering the hospital.
Daesh has taken responsibility for four major attacks that caused heavy casualties since the Taliban takeover on August 15, including suicide bomb blasts targeting Shia Muslim mosques. The group regards Shia Muslims as heretics.
The hospital, which treats wounded soldiers, was previously attacked in 2017 when gunmen killed at least 30 people.
Daesh also claimed the 2017 attack.
"We tried to stop him, but he laughed. Later we found out that he was martyred in the face-to-face fight at the hospital," the Taliban media official said.