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Al Qaeda leader for the Indian subcontinent killed in South of Afghanistan

09 October 2019

U.S. officials confirmed Tuesday that a joint U.S. -Afghanistan commando raid on September 23 killed Asim Omar, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), along with six other Al-Qaeda members in the southern Helmand province.

It said six other AQIS members were also killed, "most" of whom were Pakistani.

Asim Umar was killed during a joint US-Afghan raid on September 23.

He "was #killed along with six other AQIS members, a lot of them Pakistani", the NDS said on Twitter, adding that Umar had been "embedded" with the Taliban.

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The UN report found that US and Afghan forces killed 717 civilians and injured 680 in the first six months of the year, up 31 per cent from the same period in 2018.

Abu Raihan, said to be Umar's "courier" to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, was named as one of those killed, according to the report.

Al-Zawahiri announced the creation of AQIS in a video message released in September 2014, and said Omar would be its top commander.

Meanwhile, Laurel Miller, Director of the Crisis Group's Asia Program, has said that the time has come to verify Taliban's commitment to severe ties with the terrorist groups. The U.S. has been pushing for the Taliban to make a public break with Al Qaeda and renounce any ties to the terrorist group.

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U.S. Forces-Afghanistan declined to comment.

However, peace talks fell through last month when President Trump cancelled secret plans to host Taliban members after they admitted to killing a USA soldier. This was one of the main US demands during the peace negotiations with the Taliban that US President Donald Trump declared to be "dead" last month.

The middle-aged Umar was relatively unknown when he was picked to lead the newly created AQIS in 2014. Under his leadership, jihad was brought to Pakistan, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

An Afghan Taliban source said in 2014 that Umar had worked with the Pakistan Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chapter in Pakistan's most populous province, for some years before linking up with al-Qaeda.

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A Pakistani intelligence official said Umar had travelled to Syria, though it was not possible to confirm this.

Al Qaeda leader for the Indian subcontinent killed in South of Afghanistan