According to a newly released UN monitoring team report, al-Qaeda’s relations with the Taliban “continue to be close and mutually beneficial.” The relationship has continued despite al-Qaeda’s reported concerns over the Taliban’s talks with the U.S.
The U.S. military has suppressed a press release announcing the death of Al Qaeda In the Indian Subcontinient’s emir for three months as his presence with the difficult. Asim Umar, his courrier to Ayman al Zawahiri, his staff, and even his wife were embedded with the Taliban in Helmand province when he was killed.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security claims it has confirmed that Asim Umar, the emir of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, was killed during a Sept. 23 raid in Helmand province. Other key AQIS leaders were also killed in the fighting.
Afghan officials have identified several AQIS members who were killed during a controversial raid in Musa Qala, Helmand earlier this week. They have also posted images purportedly documenting the weaponry, explosives and cash seized at the jihadists’ compound.
U.S. and Afghan officials say they targeted al Qaeda members in Musa Qala, a Taliban-controlled district in the southern Helmand province. Reports indicate that dozens of civilians perished during the clash that ensued.
The Taliban has warned civilians to stay away from places near government facilitates, including election sites, as it says these targets are fair game. However, given the scarcity of medical facilities, it is impossible for Afghan civilians to avoid hospitals such as the one in Qalat.
One of the attacks, in Parwan province, targeted an election rally while President Ghani was speaking. The Taliban has warned civilians to stay away from election sites.
A raid against a Taliban explosives warehouse in Ghazni highlights the enduring relationship between the Taliban and al Qaeda.