Afghanistan: NATO claims kill of al-Qaeda big —after big reversals

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) announced April 26 that a senior al-Qaeda leader, NATO’s second most wanted fighter in the country, had been killed in an air-strike in Kunar province 12 days earlier. Abu Hafs al-Najdi AKA Abdul Ghani, a Saudi national, was reportedly killed in Dangam district as he met other senior insurgents and al-Qaeda members. (AlJazeera, April 26) The news came a day after Taliban militants managed to free some 500 of their fellow insurgents from a Kandahar prison thanks to a 1,000-foot-long tunnel the group had dug during the past five months. At least 60 of the escapees have since been recaptured. (AFP, April 27; Slate, April 25)

NATO supplies through Pakistan were resumed April 25 as the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) lifted road-blocks launched in protest of drone attacks. Thousands of vehicles carrying oil, food and other supplies for NATO forces were stopped on their way due to the sit-in in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North West Frontier Province). PTI chairman Imran Khan warned that the sit-in would be resumed if drone strikes did not stop within 30 days. (INP, April 26)

On April 26, two buses full of Pakistani navy troops were blown up at Mauripur. outside Karachi, killing four, including a woman doctor and a junior officer. At least 56 others sustained injuries. (The News, Pakistan, April 27)

See our last post on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the politics of drones.

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