Two senior Taliban leaders killed by Afghan, US fighters

U.S. and Afghan forces launched joint airstrikes that killed two senior Taliban officials and nearly 40 members of the militant group, officials reported Sunday, according to Reuters.

A senior security official said the strikes, concentrated in northern and western Afghanistan on Saturday night, were intended to prevent planned Taliban attacks on the country’s security forces, which have escalated since talks broke down between the U.S. and the militant organization.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said the operation had killed Mawlavi Nooruddin, the Taliban’s shadow governor for Samangan province in northern Afghanistan, as well as four fighters in the Dara-e-Soof Payeen district, according to Reuters.

Separately, Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesperson for Farah provincial police in western Afghanistan, said Mullah Sayed Azim, the Taliban's shadow governor for Anar Dara district, had been killed in a raid.

The Taliban, meanwhile, said in a statement that Nooruddin is still alive, Reuters noted.

Afghan security officials said more raids are planned against the Taliban and Islamic State ahead of the nation’s Sept. 28 elections, which the Taliban has threatened.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE last week announced that peace talks with the militant group were “dead” after he abruptly canceled a secret meeting with Taliban representatives at Camp David over an attack in which a U.S. soldier was killed.