A top ranking Taliban leader -- who was trained in Pakistan and involved in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), suicide vests and anti aircraft weapons -- has been killed by NATO troops in Afghanistan's restive Kinduz province.
Afghan police and the provincial governor said coalition forces killed Mullah Bahador, the Taliban's 'shadow governor' in the province, in an overnight raid on Thursday. Abdul Rahman Saidkhaili, the provincial police chief, said the target of the raid was a house in the Chardara district.
In a statement, coalition forces confirmed that they killed an insurgent leader who "makes IEDs and suicide vests, leads a group of Taliban fighters and employs anti aircraft weapons against Afghan and coalition forces."
Several insurgents were also arrested in the operation, the statement said. Kunduz province, which borders the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan, has become increasingly violent in the past two years, as Taliban fighters have relocated their bases due to coalition operations against them in southern Afghanistan.
Kunduz city is now nearly cut off by violence, with all roads leading out controlled by the Taliban and other armed groups.
The governor of Kunduz was killed in October last year, in a bomb blast as he prayed in a mosque, while four Taliban suicide bombers killed five policemen two weeks ago.
Mullah Bahador was responsible for coordinating attacks against coalition forces in the Kunduz area, said Abdul Wahid Omar Khail, the governor of the Chardara district. "He has been doing terrorist activities for the past three years; he was trained in one of the madrasas in Pakistan," he was quoted as saying. Mullah Bahador was the fourth Taliban governor in Kunduz, officials said; three previous ones were killed or fled to Pakistan.