An air strike and a raid by ground troops in Afghanistan has killed eight insurgents, including a senior Taliban leader who spearheaded attacks against Afghan security forces in northern Afghanistan, Nato said today.
Maulawi Jawadullah – accused of organising deadly ambushes, roadside bomb attacks, and abductions of Afghan police and soldiers – was killed in the air strike in Takhar province, an alliance statement said.
Jawadullah was linked to the recent deaths of 10 Afghan National Police officers in an attack on a police station in neighbouring Kunduz province, the statement said.
Seven other Taliban also died in the assault, including three who opened fire from a forest when coalition forces moved in after the air strike, Nato said.
Northern Takhar has been the scene of several Nato-Afghan operations recently against militants.
Nato announced this week that an insurgent involved in the kidnapping of a New York Times reporter was captured in Takhar. The unidentified militant was linked to senior Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leaders in northern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nato said he “terrorised the local populace”, and targeted police and local officials in attacks.
Journalist Stephen Farrell and translator and reporter Sultan Munadi were taken hostage in September 2009 when they went to cover a Nato air strike of two hijacked fuel tankers that killed scores of Afghan civilians. British commandos rescued Mr Farrell in a raid, but Mr Munadi and a British commando were killed in the operation.
Last month, the Afghan government disputed Nato claims that a top insurgent and his deputy were killed in a September 2 air strike in Takhar. Afghan authorities said 10 civilians were killed and seven wounded in the attack, including a candidate vying for last month’s parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, Nato reported the death of a service member in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, without providing the nationality or specifying the location of the attack.
The death was at least the 14th sustained by the Nato force so far in October.
In other violence, assailants threw a hand grenade at a wedding party in eastern Wardak province, wounding four people, Afghan’s interior ministry said.