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NATO: Senior al Qaeda leader killed in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:28 AM EDT, Tue May 29, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sakhr al-Taifi, a Saudi al Qaeda leader, and another al Qaeda member are killed
  • Al-Taifi was al Qaeda's second-highest leader in Afghanistan, NATO says
  • No civilians were harmed in the airstrike, ISAF says

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A senior al Qaeda leader and another member of the terrorist network were killed in a security operation by Afghan and coalition forces, NATO said Tuesday.

Sakhr al-Taifi, a Saudi al Qaeda leader, and the other al Qaeda member, who was not identified, were killed Sunday in the eastern Kunar province, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

Al-Taifi, also known as Musthaq and Nasim, was al Qaeda's second-highest leader in Afghanistan, responsible for commanding foreign insurgents and directing attacks against coalition and Afghan forces, NATO said.

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He frequently traveled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, carrying out commands from senior al Qaeda leadership, according to NATO. He also supplied weapons and equipment to Eastern insurgents and managed the illegal transport of insurgent fighters into Afghanistan, NATO said.

After identifying al-Taifi and the other al-Qaeda terrorist, and ensuring no civilians were in the area, ISAF engaged the targets with a precision airstrike. A follow-up assessment of the area determined no civilian property was damaged and no civilians were harmed, ISAF said.

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