Kabul: The US-led force in Afghanistan on Tuesday
said it had killed a militant leader who was linked to the
kidnapping and killing of two American sailors late last
The sailors were kidnapped after leaving a military base
in Logar province, south of the capital Kabul, in late July,
and their bodies were found separately days later.
The Taliban later claimed responsibility for their
"An Afghan and coalition security force killed Bilal, a
highly active Taliban facilitator responsible for improvised
explosive device and indirect fire attacks against Afghan
civilians and Afghan and coalition forces," a statement from
NATO`s International Security Assistance Force said.
"The facilitator had direct ties to the Taliban network
involved in the recent kidnapping and murders of two U.S. Navy
sailors," it said.
"It is currently unknown what role, if any, Bilal played
in the kidnapping," the statement added.
There are close to 150,000 international, mainly US
troops based in Afghanistan, fighting an insurgency headed by
the Taliban since the 2001 fall of the Islamic militants from