KABUL – Afghan forces have killed a high-ranking Al-Qaeda leader who was also wanted by the United States, Afghanistan’s intelligence service said late Saturday.
Abu Muhsin al-Masri, an Egyptian national believed to be the number-two for the Islamist militant group in the Indian sub-continent, was targeted in central Ghazni province, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security said in a tweet. It did not provide further details about the operation or when it was carried out. Al-Masri, who also goes by the name Husam Abd-al-Ra’uf, is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. A US warrant for his arrest was issued in December 2018, after he was charged with providing support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation and plotting to kill US nationals, according to the FBI.Al-Masri’s killing comes as peace talks continue in Qatar between the Taliban and the Afghan government in a bid to end the long-running war.
The negotiations were organised after a deal between the United States and the Taliban in February, under which the militants agreed to not allow Afghan soil to be used by foreign extremists.