Air Strike Kills Taliban Commander In Western Afghan Province

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

KABUL (AP) -- The U.S. military says a coalition air strike in Afghanistan has killed a powerful Taliban commander.

The attack destroyed a building housing the man and eight other militants near the Turkmenistan border. In a statement, the military says the commander is responsible for a surge in violence in the area in recent months, including a November attack on an Afghan army convoy that killed 13 soldiers.

The commander had previously been captured but was released four months ago after elders in his home district made pleas on his behalf to President Hamid Karzai. Provincial police say the elders guaranteed that the militant would renounce violence, but that "as soon as he was released he rejoined the Taliban."

The U.S. military describes the attack as a "precision strike" that did not destroy any other buildings. The Afghan Defense Ministry says it has reports of up to 12 deaths.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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