A Kerala resident believed to have joined the Islamic State has been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan, ANI reported on Sunday. Hafesudheen Theke Koleth, a resident of Padanna in Kerala’s Kasaragod district, was reportedly killed in the strike in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar district.

Koleth’s family learnt of his death through a Telegram message from another state resident who had joined the Islamic State, The Indian Express reported. “Alhamdulliah, Kabar adakki [Praise be to God], he has attained martyrdom”, the message reportedly read. “We are waiting for our turn...insha’Allah.” The message quoted a passage from the Quran, according to the report.

Indian intelligence and diplomatic officials told the Express that while there had been heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and Islamic State fighters in recent weeks, there was no confirmation of whether Koleth was among the dead. “Things are very chaotic on the ground,” one official told the daily. “There’s simply no way of verifying the identities of individual dead.”

Last week, Nangarhar Governor Gulab Mangal said the Afghan army had killed at least 34 Islamic State fighters in air and ground attacks. Several foreigners were reported to be among the dead, Mangal had said.

Koleth, who was part of the group of 25 Kerala residents believed to have joined the Islamic State last year, initially told his family that he was travelling to Calicut to join a Quran study circle. However, he later told them that he was going to join a seminary in Sri Lanka. National Investigation Agency officials told the Express that Koleth had in fact travelled to Dubai, and then to Iran, before going to Afghanistan. Koleth’s father said his son was radicalised after he came into contact with Abdul Rashid, the man who put together the group which went to Afghanistan. He is also believed to be in Nangarhar.