Kabul(December 6, 2017): Afghanistan’s intelligence agency and the U.S. military announced that a series of joint U.S.-Afghan operations killed a top leader of the extremist al-Qaeda network along with a number of other members.
Omar bin Khatab was the most senior leader killed in Afghanistan since the Taliban was driven from power in late 2001, said an official with the Afghan National Directorate of Security.
The U.S. military command in Afghanistan confirmed the death of Khatab and “multiple other” al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, saying several related operations had been conducted in the past few weeks in Ghazni, Paktia and Zabul provinces. The Afghan intelligence agency said scores of other al-Qaeda members were killed.U.S. military officials described Khatab as the No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, or AQIS. They said he was directly involved in fighting Afghan government and foreign troops and advised the Taliban in night attacks with rockets and mortars.
The U.S. military also announced that it had killed the leader of the Taliban’s “Red Unit” in Helmand province, Mullah Shah Wali, with a strike Dec. 1 in the district of Musa Qala. One of Wali’s deputy commanders and three other militants also were killed in the strike, U.S. military officials said.