United States confirms death of al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan air strike last month

United States confirms death of al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan air strike last month

The Pentagon said Faruq al-Qatani was one of the senior plotters in attacks against the country.

The United States on Friday confirmed the death of al-Qaeda leader Faruq al-Qatani in an air strike in Afghanistan last month, CBS News reported. The country’s Defense Department said al-Qatani was killed in the October 23 strike in Kunar, a north-eastern province around 229 kilometres away from the country’s capital, Kabul.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the strike was “another example of US operations to degrade international terror networks and target terrorist leaders” seeking to attack the country, according to PTI. Cook said that al-Qatani was the al-Qaeda’s leader in Afghanistan and was one of the group’s senior plotters in attacks against the US. He added that officials were still investigating if a second strike on the same date killed Bilal al-Utabi, another leader of the group.

News of the strikes and the militant leader’s death comes ahead of the November 8 presidential elections in the country. Authorities in the US have warned of possible terror attacks in the country around the day. The issue of national security and anti-terror operations has also been hotlydebated by presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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