Monday, 14 October, 2019

Al-Qaida South Asia Chief Killed in Afghanistan Raid

Asim Umar Asim Umar
Steven Clarke | 09 October, 2019, 17:04

A USA air raid that killed up to 40 wedding guests in Afghanistan also killed a top Al-Qaeda leader, Afghan officials have said.

Afghan and US officials say al Qaeda militants are still present in Afghanistan but not usually active, compared with the Islamic State militant group and the Taliban, who often mount attacks on government forces.

However, a tweet from Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that a number of insurgents were killed as well.

"Omar, a #Pakistani citizen, was #killed along with six other AQIS members, majority Pakistani".

"They had been embedded inside the Taliban compound in the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala", the NDS mentioned in an announcement.

The Sept. 23 raid in Helmand that killed him was in an area "full of Taliban fighters and snipers", Saleh Mohammad, a mid-level Taliban commander in the province, told Stars and Stripes last month.

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Asim Umar used to be killed right thru a joint US-Afghan raid on September 23. The head of the Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent died in a raid on a Taliban compound in the Helmand province. However a spokesperson for the Taliban dismissed the news as "enemy-fabricated propaganda", reported the BBC.

"Tens of ordinary civilian Afghans including those participating in a wedding ceremony" were killed and wounded, it said in an English-language statement published by SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist activities worldwide. Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the formation of AQIS in a video in September 2014.

However, the United States has more recently been trying to negotiate a deal with the militant group, reportedly wanting to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban's renunciation of Al-Qaeda.

Meanwhile, U.S. -led peace talks with the Taliban appear to be back on after President Trump's envoy recently traveled to Pakistan. US officials also confirmed the deaths to Fox News.

An Afghan Taliban source said in 2014 that Umar had worked with the Pakistan Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chapter in Pakistan's most populous province, for some years before linking up with al-Qaeda.

He was cited as a Pakistani citizen, though officials said that may be because he was found with Pakistani identification.

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