A senior leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group has reportedly been killed in Kunar province, Afghanistan, according to NATO.
Abdul Ghani, a Saudi Arabian citizen who died in an air strike nearly two weeks ago, was the number two insurgent target of international coalition forces combing the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Ghani, also known as Abu Hafs al-Najdi, operated training camps and planned attacks on tribal leaders and foreigners, including U.S. officials, NATO stated. He was blamed for several attacks on prominent political figures, including the suicide attack on Malik Zarin, an Afghan tribal leader who was an ally of President Hamid Karzai, which also killed nine other people.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan set up by the United Nations Security Council, explained that Ghani controlled a cluster of insurgents which targeted security forces outposts throughout Kunar province.
Abdul Ghani commonly instructed subordinate leaders to conduct kidnapping operations against foreigners... and he was responsible for directing suicide bomb attacks targeting US government officials, ISAF said.
NATO has been pursuing Ghani since 2007. He was also reportedly number 23 on a list of 85 most wanted militants by Saudi Arabia.
NATO also declared that it has killed more than 25 al-Qaeda members over the past month, but estimates that about 100 operatives of the terrorist group are still in Afghanistan.
Separately, Afghan authorities said they recaptured 65 of the more than 470 prisoners (most of whom were Taliban soldiers) who escaped from Kandahar prison on Sunday night, as a result of a massive manhunt by Afghans security forces and ISAF.
A spokesman for President Karzai branded the escape as a disaster”