Top al-Qaeda Commander Asim Omar Killed in US-Afghan Raid

Top al-Qaeda Commander Asim Omar Killed in US-Afghan Raid

The raid was part of a protracted and controversial overnight operation on September 22-23 for which the US military provided air support.

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.

"The National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan spy agency, tweeted: "#NDS can now confirm the death of Asim Omar, leader of #Al Qaeda in the #Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), in a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala district of Helmand province on 23 Sep".

India-born Asim Umar, the chief of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has been killed during a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban hideout in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Afghan officials said on Tuesday.

It said six other AQIS members were also killed, "most" of whom were Pakistani. The U.S. has been pushing for the Taliban to make a public break with Al Qaeda and renounce any ties to the terrorist group. Among them was Raihan, Omar's courier to Ayman #Al_Zawahiri.

He "was #killed along with six other AQIS members, a lot of them Pakistani", the NDS said on Twitter on Tuesday, adding that Umar had been "embedded" with the Taliban.

USA officials also confirmed the deaths to Fox News.

The strikes also killed 22 Taliban fighters and destroyed a large warehouse of supplies and equipment, the Associated Press added, citing Afghanistan's defense ministry.

On Tuesday, a bomb detonated inside a classroom in eastern Ghazni province, wounding at least 19 university students, a provincial official said.

The US had provided air support for the operation. One of the key conditions in the talks, which broke down last month, was that the Taliban would not allow al Qaeda and other terror groups to operate from Afghan soil.

AQIS also claimed responsibility for the murder of activists and writers in Bangladesh, including United States citizen Avijit Roy and U.S. embassy employee Xulhaz Mannan. Noori says five students were also wounded in that blast.

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