KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — Seven militants including a key commander of Taliban were killed as unmanned plane targeted a Taliban hideout in Dasht-e-Archi district of the northern Kunduz province Tuesday.
“Acting upon intelligence report, the security forces conducted a drone strike against Taliban hideout in Mullah Qali area early morning today, killing seven rebels including notorious commander Mullah Ismael on the spot,” district governor Nasrudin Nazari told Xinhua.
Describing Mullah Ismael as a key commander, the official said that Ismael was commanding Taliban fighters in Dasht-e-Archi and the neighboring Chardara, Imam Sahib and adjoining areas and his death could deal a major blow to the armed insurgents in Kunduz and in the neighboring Baghlan and Takhar provinces.
Taliban militants have not commented on the report. U.S. military usually conducts drone strikes on militants in Afghanistan.
Just yesterday at least fifty insurgents including several members of the ISIS terrorist group were killed during the joint operations of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) personnel, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Monday.
At least 21 insurgents were also wounded during the operations, according to a statement by the MoD,
At least 16 of the insurgents were killed during the operations conducted in the outskirts of Tarinkot city, the provincial capital of Uruzgan province and at least three others were wounded while 2 of their hideouts were destroyed.
The Afghan forces also conducted operations in Adraskan district of Herat resulting into the elimination of 7 militants while 6 others were wounded, MoD said, adding that 4 ISIS militants were killed in Nazian and Achin districts of Nangarhar.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made an unannounced visit to Kabul to assess the deteriorating security situation across Afghanistan and the long-standing request of Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO’s Resolute Support mission, for a “few thousand” more U.S. troops to bolster the train, advise and assist operations.
Currently, the U.S. has about 8,500 troops in Afghanistan, backed by about 5,000 troops from NATO members.