Al-Qaeda senior commander Asim Omar killed in US raid on Taliban

A top Al-Qaeda commander was killed in a US-Afghanistan raid.

Afghan forces last month killed a top Al-Qaeda commander, Asim Omar, in an operation backed by US airstrikes that also killed tens of civilians, Afghan intelligence officials said Tuesday.

Afghanistan’s National Directorate for Security said in a statement Tuesday that the raid on Sept. 23 killed Asim Omar along with six other al-Qaida members.

Omar was the head of al-Qaida operations in South Asia died alongside his courier to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

“They had been embedded inside the Taliban compound in the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala,” added the Afghan intelligence services’ statement.

The joint US-Afghan operation targeted a Taliban hideout in the Musa Qala district but at least 40 people attending a wedding party were killed on the same day, according to provincial officials, in US airstrikes.

Abdul Majed Akhund, deputy provincial councilman in Helmand, had said that most of the dead were women and children. An additional 12 civilians were wounded and were hospitalized in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

For the first time in 18 years of war, civilian deaths caused by US and Afghan government forces have surpassed those caused by the Taliban and other insurgents, according to a UN report.

The operation also killed 22 Taliban fighters, including foreigners, Afghanistan’s defense ministry had reported in a statement.

Fourteen people were arrested, including five Pakistani nationals and one Bangladeshi. The statement said a large warehouse of supplies and equipment was also destroyed.

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