The International Security Assistance Force confirmed today that it recently killed a Taliban district commander in Takhar who is linked to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The commander, named Attallah, was among six Taliban fighters killed during a raid on Friday that also resulted in the capture of a senior Taliban military commissioner who had been appointed the deputy shadow governor for Takhar just one day prior to his arrest.
Attallah was the Taliban’s shadow district governor of Darquad district. “He maintained contact with senior Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leaders in Pakistan and Takhar, Kunduz, and Baghlan provinces,” ISAF stated.
In its press release today, ISAF incorrectly stated that Attallah had “recently stepped in as the deputy shadow governor for Takhar province, after the former deputy, Muhammad Amin, was killed in a precision air strike Thursday.” Later today, ISAF Joint Command’s Public Affairs Office told The Long War Journal that Attallah had not in fact replaced Amin as the deputy shadow governor. That position was taken by the unnamed military commissioner who was captured during the raid in which Atallah was killed.
Before dying in a strike on a convoy in the remote district of Mustaq on Sept. 2, Amin served as both the deputy shadow governor for Takhar and as a senior leader in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan ; he is known to have had links to leaders operating inside Pakistan. Between eight and 12 of his bodyguards were also killed in the Sept. 2 strike, according to ISAF.
Although a candidate for parliament has claimed that civilians were killed in the strike that killed Amin, ISAF has denied the reports. [For more information see LWJ report, ‘Taliban military commissioner’ captured in Afghan north.] An intelligence official with Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security also disagreed with the candidate’s version, telling The Long War Journal that Amin was killed in the strike along with members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
Takhar province has become a sanctuary for al Qaeda and allied terror groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The presence of terror cells has been detected in the districts of Rustaq and Darquadh; or two of Takhar’s 12 districts, according to an investigation by The Long War Journal.
In addition to killing the three Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan commanders and more than a dozen fighters over the past week in Takhar, ISAF has also hunted the terror group’s leaders in neighboring Kunduz province. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan commanders have been targeted in Kunduz on Aug. 27, 29, and 31. And on Aug. 14, ISAF killed Abu Baqir, “a dual-hatted Taliban sub-commander and al Qaeda group leader,” who also was a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
• Taliban district commander confirmed, ISAF press release
• Uzbek terror commander serving as Taliban shadow governor killed by US special forces, The Long War Journal
• ‘Taliban military commissioner’ captured in Afghan north, The Long War Journal
• ISAF continues to hunt IMU commanders in Kunduz, Threat Matrix
• US strike kills ‘dual-hatted’ al Qaeda and Taliban commander in northern Afghanistan, The Long War Journal
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