Al-Qaeda's South Asia chief killed in Afghanistan

Asim Umar | @NDSAfghanistan | Twitter

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

Most of those who died were women and children, Helmand's Deputy Provincial Councilman Abdul Majed Akhund said at the time.

"NDS can now confirm the death of Asim Omar, leader of #Al_Qaeda in the #Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), in a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Sep".

Omar was the head of al Qaeda operations in South Asia.

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.

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

An additional 22 Taliban fighters, including foreigners, were killed in the raid.

At least 40 civilians were reported to have been killed in the same operation.

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A further 14 people were arrested, including five Pakistani nationals and one Bangladeshi.

Word Omar's death came on the 18th anniversary of the first USA airstrikes in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington.

American officials have said they were investigating reports of dozens civilian casualties.

'We told the security forces that we were not members of the Taliban. but both sides ended up killing civilians, ' he said.

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan declined to comment.

The US attacked Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks in which Al-Qaeda hijackers crashed passenger aircraft into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, killing nearly 3,000 people.

"The AQIS chief's presence in a Taliban compound suggests the Taliban have no intention of cutting their ties with al Qaeda", said an Indian security official who asked not to be named.

However, the United States has more recently been trying to negotiate a deal with the militant group, reportedly wanting to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban's renunciation of Al-Qaeda. The Taliban and IS killed 531 and wounded 1,437, down 43 per cent.

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