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Al-Qaeda’s senior leader in Afghanistan killed: NATO

The second highest al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan was killed in a weekend airstrike in the country's volatile east near the border with Pakistan, Nato-led forces said today.

world Updated: May 30, 2012 00:05 IST

Nato said Tuesday that al-Qaeda’s second in command in Afghanistan had been killed in an air strike near the Pakistani border.

The US-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan said Saudi-born Sakhr al-Taifi, also known as Musthaq and Nasim, commanded foreign fighters and directed attacks on Nato and Afghan troops.

It described him as al Qaeda’s “second highest leader in Afghanistan”, saying he frequently travelled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, “carrying out commands from senior al-Qaeda leadership”.

He also supplied weapons and equipment to insurgents, and managed the transport of insurgent fighters into Afghanistan, the military said.

Nato said he was killed in an air strike on Sunday with “one additional al-Qaeda terrorist in Watahpur district, Kunar province” which borders Pakistan. The US announced last year that it would focus military operations in Afghanistan towards the eastern provinces, which border Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt.

First Published: May 29, 2012 13:39 IST