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Taliban shadow district chief among 8 killed

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    Posted: 22-May-2017 at 7:04pm
Taliban shadow district chief among 8 killed in US drone strike in Kunduz
Afghanistan's Interior Ministry says an air strike in the country's north has killed eight Taliban members, including a local militant chief. 

In a statement on May 22, the ministry said an air strike late on May 21 killed Dost Mohammad, the Taliban’s shadow district chief of Qala-i-Zal in the northern province of Kunduz. 

Four other Taliban fighters were wounded in the air strike, the statement said. 

There was no comment from the Taliban, which captured the district of Qala-i-Zal two weeks ago, only for Afghan security forces to regain control following a counteroffensive.

On May 6, Taliban militants seized Qala-i-Zal district, west of the provincial capital, Kunduz, as they stepped up pressure on the city at the start of their annual spring offensive.

Kunduz is in government hands, while the Taliban controls most of the surrounding districts.

Over the past 18 months, Taliban fighters have twice succeeded in seizing the city center for brief periods.

A prominent Taliban leader was killed along with seven other fighters in a drone strike conducted by the US forces in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment in a statement said the group’s shadow district chief for Qala-e-Zal was among 8 militants killed in the airstrike.

The statement further added that the Taliban leader killed in the airstrike has been identified as Mawlavi Dost Mohammad.

The airstrike was carried out around 12:30 am local time in the vicinity of Qala-e-Zal district, the statement said, adding that four insurgents were also wounded in the airstrike and two vehicles were destroyed.

Kunduz is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in its various districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

The Taliban insurgent seized the control of Qala-e-Zal district earlier this month but the Afghan forces managed to retake it by launching a major operation on Tuesday, the 16th May.

The local security officials are saying that almost all areas in the district have been retaken from the Taliban insurgents but clearance operations are underway to fully clear the district from the presence of the insurgents.

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