Saturday, December 23, 2006

Airstrike Sends Taliban Leader Home to Allah

From a CENTCOM press release:
KABUL, Afghanistan – Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, a senior member of the Taliban’s inner circle, was killed Dec. 19 in Helmand Province.

Credible intelligence led Coalition Forces to Osmani’s location near the border with Pakistan. His vehicle, traveling in a deserted area, was destroyed by a Coalition air strike, instantly killing him and two unidentified associates.

“Osmani was in the top ring of the Taliban leadership and he was also a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Gulbuddin Hekmatyr,” said Col. Tom Collins, Coalition spokesperson. “His death is a major achievement in the fight against extremists and their terrorist networks.”

Osmani was the Taliban’s chief of military operations in the provinces of Uruzgan, Nimroz, Kandahar, Farah, Herat and Helmand. He played a central role in facilitating terrorist operations involving Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Haqqani Network, to include IED and suicide attacks, kidnappings, numerous atrocities against innocent civilians, and direct attacks on Coalition, NATO, and Afghan forces, Collins said.
The Associated Press story about Osmani's death is full of references to the US "claims," as if the wire service, especially after the Jamil Hussein fiasco, has the credibility to question CENTCOM.