Friday, November 02, 2007

Top Afghan Rebel Commander Killed

Security forces in Afghanistan have killed a top rebel commander and several of his men as they tried to infiltrate from Pakistan, the US-led force announced overnight. The commander, identified as Abdul Manan, was killed October 28 in the eastern province of Khost after security forces ambushed him and a dozen of his men as they crossed the border, the force said in a statement. The killing could not immediately be confirmed by Afghan officials. The coalition said Manan was a senior commander of insurgent fighters in a faction formed under well-known Soviet resistance commander Jalaluddin Haqqani. It said the span of his control and influence was similar to that of late Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah, killed in May in one of the biggest successes of the campaign against the Taliban and its allies launched in 2001."In addition to leading a large contingent of militants, Manan was also responsible for the movement of both insurgent fighters and weapons smuggling across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border," the coalition said. "His death will seriously hamper the enemy's organisation and operations as there is no known successor." The coalition helped to topple the Taliban government in late 2001 for harbouring Al-Qaeda leaders after the 9/11 attacks. Six years later it has about 15,000 soldiers in Afghanistan to round up fighters from the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other radical outfits waging a campaign of violence that is undermining the efforts of the new government to introduce democracy and rebuild the war-shattered nation.