World News / Afghanistan News > A NATO air strike in eastern Afghanistan has killed key Taliban commander, Mullah Dadullah, both NATO and the Taliban confirmed on Saturday.
Both sides identified the dead commander as Mullah Dadullah and said several of his comrades were also killed in the attack on Friday.
A NATO statement did not say who carried out the assault, but the alliance is alone in having the air power to conduct such an operation. It said Dadullah’s deputy, Shakir, was also killed.
“Dadullah, also known as Jamal, was responsible for the movement of fighters and weapons, as well as attacks against Afghan and coalition forces,” the statement said.
It said Afghan and coalition forces backing the Kabul government had “conducted a post-strike assessment” and found that there had been no civilian casualties or damage to civilian property.
Pakistani Taliban officials, as well as Pakistani intelligence officials said Dadullah had been killed in a house in eastern Konar province, along with 12 bodygards. They said he was the leader of the Taliban in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal agency, near the border with Afghanistan.
Dadullah, in his 40s, replaced Maulvi Faqir Mohammad last year after Mohammad told the media that the Taliban were holding peace talks with the government.
Some Pakistani Taliban fighters and commanders were forced to flee into Afghanistan after the Pakistani army launched a series of offensives against them in 2008 and 2009.
But they still carry out cross-border raids on Pakistani armed forces. In June, the Pakistani Taliban said they beheaded 17 Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border raid. — AGENCIES