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Al-Qaeda’s South Asia chief killed

AT News Report

KABUL: Afghan intelligence agency has confirmed Asim Omar, leader of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), was killed in a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala district of Helmand province, while several others captured, including Pakistani citizens. 

National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement on Tuesday confirmed that ‘Asim Omar’ was killed on September 23 in a Taliban compound in Musa Qala’s district of Helmand.   

“Omar, a Pakistani citizen, was killed along with six other AQIS members, most of them Pakistani. Among them was Raihan, Omar’s courier to Ayman Al-Zawahiri. They had been embedded inside the Taliban compound in the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala,” the statement added.

Recently a column in Washington Post said that Taliban still hasn’t broken ties with al-Qaeda. The NDS killed al-Qead leader Asim Omar in an operation targeting Taliban compound in Helmand province, indicating the Taliban militants provided them with safe havens in its compound. 

This development raises serious questions about the Taliban’s promises, made during the now-frozen U.S.-Taliban talks, to break ties with its longtime partner al-Qaeda. It suggests that the American hope of detaching the Taliban from its al-Qaeda allies, before making a deal with the Taliban, is nowhere near to being fulfilled.

The unvarnished reality on the ground is that al-Qaeda remains an important factor in the Taliban insurgency. The two terrorist groups are codependent allies, and their partnership endured for nearly 23 years. Currently, the Taliban serves as the primary partner for AQIS, al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate, and almost all other terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, according to Washington Post.

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