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Top Al-Qaeda leader killed in airstrike: ISAF.

KABUL (PAN): A high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan was killed by Afghan and coalition security forces during an operation over the weekend in Watahpur district in Kunar province, said the alliance.

An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) statement said Sakhar al-Taifi, the Saudi born, was killed during last Sunday's air raid , along with another Al-Qaeda terrorist.

"Sakhr al-Taifi, also known as Musthaq and Nasim, was Al-Qaeda's second highest leader in Afghanistan, responsible for commanding foreign insurgents, in addition to directing attacks against coalition and Afghan forces," said the statement.

But nothing was mentioned about the other dead terrorist.

ISAF said al-Taifi had frequently travelled between Afghanistan and Pakistan to carry out commands from senior Al-Qaeda leadership and also supplied weapons and equipment to eastern insurgents. He was also managed the illegal transport of insurgent fighters into Afghanistan.

"After positively identifying Sakhr al-Taifi and one additional Al-Qaeda terrorist and ensuring no civilians were in the area, the security force engaged the targets with a precision airstrike.

"A follow-on assessment of the area determined no civilian property was damaged and no civilians were harmed," added the statement.

A local official, on condition of anonymity, admitted that two important Al-Qaeda members, including Abu Naseem, were killed in the province in the airstrike.

He added that the operation was conducted in Gambir area of Watapur district.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman rejected ISAF's claim and said two Afghan Taliban members had been killed in last Sunday's bombardment in the district.

mas/vp

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:May 29, 2012
Words:263
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