October 6, 2011

Senior Haqqani network leader killed in airstrike

ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan

For Immediate Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (Oct. 5, 2011) — A combined Afghan and coalition security force killed a senior Haqqani leader and two of his associates during a precision airstrike in Musa Khel district, Khost province, Tuesday.

Dilawar, who was only known by one name, was a principal subordinate to Haji Mali Khan, Afghanistan’s lead Haqqani network leader. Dilawar was killed exactly one week following Khan’s capture, resulting in another significant loss for the insurgent group.

Dilawar operated along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, between the Khost and Paktiya provinces, where he actively coordinated numerous attacks against Afghan forces and facilitated the movement of weapons.

Dilawar also facilitated the movement of foreign fighters and was associated with both al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

Prior to Mali Khan’s capture by the combined Afghan and coalition security force, he worked closely with Dilawar planning attacks throughout the area. Specifically, Dilawar had just conducted an ambush on Afghan forces in Paktiya province last month.

After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the security force called for the airstrike. A follow-on assessment of the area determined no civilians were harmed during the operation.

In an effort to prevent insurgent activity, the Haqqani network and its safe havens remain a top priority for the Afghan and coalition force. Thus far in 2011 security forces have conducted more than 530 operations in an effort to disrupt Haqqani network activities in Eastern Afghanistan, resulting in the death of 20 network leaders and the capture of more than 1,400 suspected Haqqani insurgents.

The death of Dilawar marks another significant milestone in the disruption of the Haqqani network in Afghanistan.

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