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NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills Pakistan Taliban Leader

A NATO airstrike in Afghanistan killed a leader of Pakistan’s Tehrik-i-Taliban militant group, the International Security Assistance Force said.

Maulawi Dadullah was among insurgents killed in the eastern province of Kunar, ISAF said in an e-mail statement at the weekend. Dadullah’s deputy, known as Shakir, was among those killed in the raid in the Shigal wa Sheltan district on Aug. 24, it said.

Dadullah “was responsible for the movement of fighters and weapons, as well as attacks against Afghan and coalition forces,” ISAF said, according to the statement. Ten other militants were killed in the attack about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, the Associated Press reported.

Taliban militants earlier this month stormed Pakistan’s main air force base near the capital, Islamabad, in at least the third attack in the Punjab region since Pakistan ended a seven-month ban on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s use of supply routes into Afghanistan.

Pakistan has told U.S. military officials it’s preparing a new operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan from where gunmen, including the Haqqani network, operate and attack western forces involved in the Afghan conflict, AP reported on Aug. 14, citing U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Dadullah, who was commander of the Taliban in Pakistan’s Bajur region, was replaced by Maulana Abu Bakar, AP cited a Pakistan Taliban spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, as saying yesterday.

Pakistani intelligence officers are investigating whether Badruddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of the militant group, was killed in a U.S. drone strike last week, AP reported Aug. 25, citing unidentified officials in the country. His death may have occurred in an Aug. 21 raid in North Waziristan, AP said.

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