Nato forces kill al-Qa'ida's second-highest ranking leader in Afghanistan
Tuesday 29 May 2012
Nato forces have killed al-Qa'ida's second-highest ranking leader in Afghanistan in an air strike.
The US-led coalition said the attack that killed Sakhr al-Taifi and another al-Qa'ida militant took place in eastern Kunar province on Sunday.
Nato said today that al-Taifi, also known as Musthaq and Nasim, frequently travelled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, carrying out commands from senior al-Qa'ida leaders.
The coalition said al-Taifi was responsible for commanding foreign insurgents in Afghanistan and directing attacks against coalition and Afghan forces. He also supplied weapons and equipment to eastern insurgents and transported fighters into Afghanistan.
A follow-up assessment of the area determined that no civilians were harmed in the air strike, Nato said.
The US-led invasion of Afghanistan was carried out because al-Qa'ida chief Osama bin Laden used the country as his base to plan the September 11 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.
Most of al-Qa'ida's senior leaders are now believed to be based in Pakistan, where they fled following the US invasion. The terrorist organisation is believed to have only a nominal presence in Afghanistan.
Many senior al-Qa'ida commanders have died in US drone attacks in Pakistan, and bin Laden was killed by US commandos in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad last May.
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