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Key terrorist leaders killed in Afghan strikes

Key terrorist leaders killed in Afghan strikes

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On
Dec 05, 2017 - 22:10

KABUL (Pajhwok): Several Afghan-US forces joint operations over the past weeks targeted and eliminated top terrorist leaders in Afghanistan, the US forces said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the US forces said Afghan Special Security Forces confirmed on Monday the death of Omar Khetab, a senior Al Qaeda leader, as well as multiple other Al Qaeda operatives, after operations in Ghazni, Paktia and Zabul provinces. 

The coalition statement said Khetab was the second senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent and was directly involved in fighting against the Afghan government and foreign troops.

Khetab had a role in advising in the use of heavy weapons such as rockets, mortars and training for Taliban night attacks.

"This operation is a testament to the real growth the Afghan forces have achieved over the past year," said General John Nicholson, US Forces-Afghanistan commander.

"It is also another example of the lethality of the undefeated Afghan Special Forces and the success of working side by side with our Afghan partners."

In a separate operation, the Taliban's "Red Unit" commander in Helmand province, Mullah Shah Wali, aka Haji Nasir, was killed in a kinetic strike in Musa Qalah, Helmand on Dec. 1.

One of Wali's deputy commanders and three other insurgents were also killed in the strike.

The US forces said Wali and his "Red Unit" were responsible for planning numerous suicide bombings, IED attacks, and coordinated assaults against civilians, Afghan and coalition forces.

Wali was directly responsible for coordinating operations and resupply of munitions, explosives, and materials for the Taliban throughout Helmand province.

"Mullah Shah Wali's death will disrupt the Taliban network, degrade their narcotics trafficking, and hinder their ability to conduct attacks against Afghan forces," Nicholson said.

"USFOR-A and our Afghan partners will continue to aggressively target Taliban leaders to destroy their drug network, disrupt their communications, and deny them safe haven."

The Taliban in Helmand province are responsible for poppy cultivation and opium trade that funds their activities.

Both leaders are responsible for the deaths of many innocent Afghans, and their removal will both disrupt the terrorist operations of their respective organizations and improve overall security of the country.

"These two operations together would never have been possible without the close cooperation between Afghan forces and USFOR-A, and they are proof our strategy is working," Nicholson said.

"The entire international community agrees Afghanistan deserves security and lasting peace."

pr/ma