Taliban intelligence chief reported killed

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The new Afghan government has confirmed that American bombs killed the Taliban's intelligence chief, Qari Ahmadullah, who was high on the US list of targeted Taliban officials.

US intelligence officials have also said that they believe Ahmadullah is dead.

Ahmadullah, 40, is believed to be the highest-ranking Taliban official killed during the US-led military campaign. He died during American bombings of Naka, in Paktia province, said Abdullah Tawheedi, a deputy intelligence minister for Kabul's interim government.

Ahmadullah was among 25 people killed in Naka on December 27, when planes attacked a house where he was staying, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press reported.

According to Raz Mohammed Khan Lunai, Tawheedi's representative in neighboring Ghazni province, Ahmadullah was hit by airstrikes while trying to flee on a motorcycle. Lunai said he witnessed Ahmadullah's burial in a remote and sparsely populated area of Ghazni.

The hunt is still continuing for Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who is believed to be hiding in the region northwest of Kandahar.