A senior Taliban army commander has been killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan, officers stated on Sunday. The scoop got here on the finish of per week by which 3 American provider contributors had been killed.
Confirming the strike, a US pressure spokesman stated: “The Taliban must believe intensifying peace talks, no longer the battle. They’re going to have hassle intensifying the battle when their warring parties and leaders are below consistent attack.”
Abdul Manan, the Taliban “shadow governor” within the southern Helmand province, died of wounds sustained past due on Saturday, stated Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the respectable governor of the province. Manan’s demise used to be showed by way of the Taliban as a “large loss”. The gang vowed it could no longer have an effect on army operations.
Helmand, which gives the biggest percentage of Afghanistan’s opium crop, has been the scene of sour combating for years, with 10 of 14 districts both managed or contested by way of the Taliban.
Afghan inner ministry spokesman Najib Danish stated Manan used to be the militants’ most sensible army chief in southern Afghanistan.
“His demise will decrease the ethical of the enemy, and lead to [the] growth of safety in Helmand and different southern provinces,” Danish stated, including that 32 different Taliban warring parties had been additionally killed within the strike.
Manan used to be on a blacklist unveiled mid-October by way of the Riyadh-based Terrorist Financing Focused on Heart (TFTC), which imposed monetary sanctions on 9 people together with six Taliban contributors.
His demise comes amid greater efforts by way of the Afghan govt and its western backers to finish the 17-year warfare. US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad just lately expressed hope peace deal might be struck sooner than the presidential election, scheduled for April.
At a world convention in Geneva closing Monday, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani stated a 12-person negotiating group has been ready for talks. However the Taliban have rejected Ghani’s overtures, calling the federal government in Kabul “impotent” and a “waste of time”.
On Wednesday, no less than 30 Afghan civilians had been reported to have died in an airstrike in Helmand province.
3 American provider contributors had been killed in Afghanistan past due closing month, close to the central town of Ghazni. A Briton and 5 Afghan nationals had been killed in an assault on a personal safety compound in Kabul on Wednesday.