Top al-Qaeda Commander Asim Omar Killed in US-Afghan Raid

Asim Umar

Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security said Umar was a Pakistani citizen, although some reports say he had been born in India.

The security forces killed the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist network for the Indian subcontinent during an operation in Helmand province of Afghanistan.

"Omar, a #Pakistani citizen, was #killed along with six other AQIS members, a lot of them Pakistani".

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

The raid was part of a protracted and controversial overnight operation on September 22-23 for which the USA military provided air support.

The operation also killed 22 Taliban fighters, the ADF reported.

Omar was the head of operations in South Asia and died alongside his courier to Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

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The US invaded Afghanistan after the Taliban refused to hand over Al Qaeda's leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001 attacks against America.

USA officials also confirmed the deaths to Fox News.

Under a stalled withdrawal plan negotiated between the United States and the Taliban, Washington agreed to pull troops from Afghanistan if the insurgents abide by security guarantees and cut all ties with Al Qaeda. The two had reached an agreement "in principle" but President Donald Trump later called off the talks in the aftermath of the Kabul terror attack.

Despite the operation taking down several senior members of Al-Qaeda, at least 40 people attending a nearby wedding party were inadvertently killed, according to local officials. AQIS subsequently claimed responsibility for the September 6, 2014 attack on a naval dockyard in Karachi, during which terrorists tried to hijack a Pakistan Navy frigate.

Asim is said to be originally from India, and spent years in the town of Miranshah, a former militant stronghold in Pakistani tribal areas near the Afghan border, according to the BBC.

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

Umar - an alias - was named by al-Zawahiri in a video message.

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