Key Taliban Leader Killed in Air Raid in Afghanistan

Official says up to 15 key militants have been targeted in air raids in less than month

Kabul, Afghanistan, MINA — A senior Taliban commander was killed in an aerial raid in southeastern Paktika province, the Afghan Defense Ministry said Sunday.

The militant was targeted in the Barmal district bordering Pakistan’s restive South Waziristan tribal agency.

Without naming the rebel commander, the official statement said a car was targeted in the air raid killing two militants.

Pakistani daily Express Tribune has identified the Taliban commander as Saifullah.

Syed Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed, Defense Ministry spokesman, told Anadolu Agency the Afghan Air Force has expedited aerial raids in winter to target top militant and rebel commanders.

“In less than a month, up to 15 key militants and terrorists, including the Taliban’s shadow governors, regional commanders such as Mula Mana, Pir Agha and Bilal Zadran, have been eliminated, and this drive would continue,” he said.

This comes as the top U.S. peace negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, recently met the Taliban representatives along with representatives from Pakistan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Abu Dhabi in a bid to revive the stalled peace process. .(T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)