(CNN)The United States has killed a high-ranking al Qaeda commander in an airstrike in Afghanistan, a military statement said Friday.
Abu Kahlil al-Sudani was killed during the attack in Paktika, a southeastern Afghan province that borders Pakistan, on July 11, the U.S. statement said.
"This operation underscores the work that ... all of our forces in Afghanistan do each day to take the fight to al Qaeda," U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during a stop in Iraq. "We will continue to counter violent extremism in the region and around the world."
Al-Sudani was the head of al Qaeda's suicide and explosive operations and has been directly linked to plans for external attacks against the United States, according to the U.S. military statement.