Taliban Commander Mullah Akhtar Usmani Killed in Airstrike


Mullah Akhtar Usmani. Click image to view.

Usami was a member of the Taliban Shura Majlis, Omar's former deputy, former foreign minister, and operational commander in Uruzgan, Nimroz, Kandahar, Farah, Herat and Helmand; Taliban "boxed in" near Kandahar City

Coalition forces have killed a senior Taliban military and political leader in southern Afghanistan. Mullah Akhtar Usmani, along with two deputies, were killed in a Coalition airstrike in the restive province of Helmand on December 19th. Usami was killed on the Pakistani border while driving in a vehicle with his deputies. The Taliban have denied Usami was killed.

"Coalition spokesman in Kabul Colonel Tom Collins said Usmani was a senior member of the Taliban inner circle," reports the Kuwaiti News Agency. In fact, Mullah Akhtar Usmani was a member of the Taliban's Shura Majlis, or executive council, and the former foreign minister for the Taliban, The Globe and Mail's Graeme Smith reported on November 27th.

Mullah Akhtar Usmani on television in June 0f 2006. Click image to view.

Usami also was the "Taliban's chief of military operations in the provinces of Uruzgan, Nimroz, Kandahar, Farah, Herat and Helmand and played a central role in facilitating operations involving Taliban, al Qaeda and a group led by Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani." notes KUNA. In the past, Mullah Akhtar Usmani personally vouched for the safety and whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar.

Helmand province is the scene of the British "truce" with with the Taliban in Musa Qala. British military leaders claim the deal was signed with the local district leaders and tribal elders, and praised the similarities to Pakistan's Waziristan Accord, where Pakistan surrendered to the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Taliban have openly mocked NATO and President Karzai as the Musa Qala deal is viewed as a victory. The current governor of Helmand stated he will not support future appeasement of the Taliban. "I am not [for] pro-[Taliban] agreements such as in Musa Qala where there is no government control," said Governor Assadullah Wafa.

East of Helmand province, NATO forces, led by the Canadians, believe they have a significant force of Taliban "boxed in... surrounding them, 360 degrees" in the small village of Howz-e Madad, This is a small village in the Panjwai distrct, about 25 miles west of Kandahar City. NATO launched Operation Falcon Summit two weeks ago, and recently reported over 50 Taliban were killed in an airstrike.



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READER COMMENTS: "Taliban Commander Mullah Akhtar Usmani Killed in Airstrike"

Posted by madconductor at December 24, 2006 12:48 AM ET:

This is great news Bill. Thank you for the timely and excellent reports from your embed. I have not been able to contribute to your effort but I will be able to in two weeks. I hope it helps.

Posted by Marlin at December 24, 2006 10:53 AM ET:

The Taliban commander in charge of attacks on British and Nato forces in southern Afghanistan was reported yesterday to have been killed in a US airstrike after an RAF aircraft intercepted his satellite telephone.
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, the Taliban treasurer, was the most senior member of the group's leadership to die in the war on terror, according to US officials.

[...]

Military souces said he had been killed by a strike on his vehicle as he and his aides left a village in the Zahre area. An RAF R1 monitoring aircraft is believed to have been tracking him. The aircraft was working with a US special operations team, including members of Delta Force, plus intelligence specialists from a unit known as Task Force Orange who tracked him on the ground.

The satellite telephone signal allowed the RAF aircraft to pinpoint Osmani's location. As he headed out of the village in a 4x4, a US plane dropped a smart bomb onto the vehicle.

The Sunday Times: Taliban leader 'killed' after RAF tracks phone