January 12, 2011

NATO Officials Confirm Taliban Leaders’ Deaths

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force and ISAF Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2011 – Officials from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Joint Command today confirmed the identity of two Taliban leaders killed recently in Afghanistan.

Afghan and coalition forces killed Maulawi Zahir Jan. 9 in Kunduz province’s Khanabad district. Zahir was an explosive device and weapons trafficker connected to several Taliban leaders in Pakistan.Qari Baryal was killed in a Jan. 7 coalition airstrike in Kunar province.

He was a Taliban leader and al-Qaida affiliate who led a group of at least 25 fighters in and near the province’s Pech Valley.

ISAF Joint Command officials also provided details on other recent operations:

-- Security forces yesterday killed three insurgents, including Mirwais Sabri, a Haqqani network leader, in Khost province’s Sabari district. Sabri was responsible for planning and carrying out several attacks on security forces in the area. Security forces spotted Sabri and the other two insurgents in a remote part of the district and called in an airstrike. Sabri’s associates were killed in the airstrike. Sabri was killed during a follow-on search of the area after he fired on the security force.

-- Afghan and coalition forces in Wardak province’s Maiden Shahr district killed Safiulla, a mid-level insurgent commander, and detained three others. Safiulla was connected to several indirect-fire and small-arms attacks against local security forces in the area. Tips from local residents led security forces to his location. Safiulla was armed and tried to flee, but was surrounded by security forces. He was shot and killed after refusing requests to forfeit his weapon. Safiulla’s three associates were detained for further questioning.

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