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Strikes in eastern Afghanistan target militant

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Troops went after a Haqqani network commander in Paktiya province
  • There is no confirmation yet that the militant died
  • The militant is thought to be in "regular contact" with insurgents in Pakistan

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan and international forces targeting a militant commander launched several "precision strikes" in eastern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

The Monday strikes targeted a bunker complex in a remote area of Paktiya province, where intelligence sources believed the commander was hiding. It is not yet known whether the commander died.

The militant, who was not identified, was part of the Haqqani network, a group with links to the Taliban, and was responsible for the Khost-Gardez pass region, officials said. ISAF said the commander "regularly directs and conducts attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and is in regular contact with top Haqqani leadership across the border in Pakistan."

"These strikes were meticulously conducted against a known and extremely dangerous senior leader within the Haqqani network," said Col. Rafael Torres, an ISAF spokesman. "The insurgents are regularly smuggling foreign fighters across the borders of Afghanistan to bring violence and instability to the Afghan people."