Haqqani commander killed in joint force raid: NATO

An insurgent commander from the Haqqani network and three militants were killed in a firefight with NATO and Afghan forces.

Kabul: An insurgent commander from the
Haqqani network and three other militants were killed in a
firefight with NATO and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan,
the alliance said on Wednesday.

Ansari Khan, accused of conducting attacks on
coalition forces, died in a clash in Khost province`s Spera
district in an overnight operation yesterday, a NATO statement

As the security force moved in on a compound, two
insurgents threw a grenade and opened fire. Retaliatory fire
killed four militants, including Khan, it said.

The Haqqani network is a Pakistan-based faction of the
Taliban with close ties to al Qaeda.

The group was started by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a
commander supported by Pakistan and the United States during
the 1980s war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Haqqani has since turned against the United States,
and American military officials have said his organisation,
now effectively led by his son, Sirajuddin, presents one of
the greatest threats to foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the alliance announced a NATO service
member was killed today in an insurgent attack in eastern
Afghanistan. It did not provide a nationality or the exact
location of the attack.

The death brought to 29 the number of troops killed in

At least 2,017 NATO troops have died since the US-led
invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, according to a news agency count.

It has been the deadliest year for international
troops in the nine-year Afghan conflict, and the escalating
toll has shaken the commitment of many NATO countries, with
rising calls to start drawing down troops quickly.

In southern Afghanistan, Ahmed Khan, chief of Dihrawud
district in Uruzgan province, was fatally shot by insurgents
yesterday at a market, according to Mohammad Naeem, the
district police chief.

Coalition forces captured a senior Taliban leader
operating in southern Kandahar city on Tuesday, NATO said. The
unidentified person distributed bomb components to Taliban
fighters and facilitated attacks on Afghan and coalition
forces, according to a statement released today.