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Top taliban commander killed
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[QUOTE="Gypsy, post: 5061, member: 24"] Another one bites the dust. Rot in hell. [url]http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16334761/[/url] U.S.: Top Taliban commander killed in airstrike Reclusive leader reportedly slain in Afghanistan; Taliban denies claim Updated: 35 minutes ago KABUL, Afghanistan - A top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Saturday. A Taliban spokesman denied the claim. Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said. Two associates also were killed, it said. There was no immediate confirmation from Afghan officials or visual proof offered to support the claim. A U.S. spokesman said “various sources” were used to confirm Osmani’s identity. Osmani, regarded as one of three top associates of Omar, is the highest-ranking Taliban leader the coalition has claimed to have killed or captured since U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime in late 2001 for hosting bin Laden. U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins described Osmani’s death as a “big loss” for the ultraconservative militia. “There’s no doubt that it will have an immediate impact on their ability to conduct attacks,” Collins said. “But the Taliban is fairly adaptive. They’ll put somebody else in that position and we’ll go after that person, too.” He was regarded as highly ideological and was instrumental in some of the excesses of the Taliban rule such as the destruction of the ancient Buddha statues in Bamiyan and the trial of Christian aid workers in 2001, Rashid said. Taliban: Airstrike killed other members A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, denied that Osmani had been killed, saying the airstrike instead killed Mullah Abdul Zahir, a group commander, and three other Taliban fighters. “I confirm that Osmani is alive and is in Afghanistan,” Ahmadi told The Associated Press by phone from an undisclosed location. Collins said officials waited four days to announce the news in part so that they could be sure it was Osmani who was killed. “The vehicle was completely destroyed, there was nothing to recognize,” Collins said. “But we have various intelligence assets that we monitor, that we look at very closely, and of course we work with the intelligence agencies of the Afghan government and through those sources we are sure that he is dead.” Osmani, the Taliban’s chief military commander in southern Afghanistan, played a “central role in facilitating terrorist operations” including roadside bombs, suicide attacks and kidnappings, the U.S. said. Ahmed Rashid, a leading author on Islamic militancy, said the death was a “major blow” to the Taliban. [/QUOTE]
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Top taliban commander killed