By Shadi Khan Saif/ Islamuddin Sajjid
Up to 22 militants, including at least eight fighters associated with the Jamaat ul-Ahrar (JuA), a splinter group of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed and several others wounded in a military operation carried out by U.S. and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday.
Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial government in Nangarhar, told Anadolu Agency the airstrike was carried out in the Lal Pura district of the province bordering Pakistan’s restive tribal belt. He said 15 local pro-Daesh rebels and eight Pakistani militants were killed in the fifth such raid in as many days.
Bordering Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the southern parts of Nangarhar province of Afghanistan are believed to be the strongest bastions of the pro-Daesh fighters origins in the country.
"Our eight militants, including two key commanders Adil Bacha and Wali Khan, were killed and several others wounded in the operation," Asad Mansure, spokesman of JuA said in a statement.
Adil Bacha was said to be behind several suicide attacks carried out in Pakistan.
The statement further said that the Afghan forces had killed six other commanders in recent operations carried out in Nangarhar last month.
"Umar Khalid Khorasani, head of JuA, was also injured in the NATO forces operation," the spokesman said but he did not mention when Khorasani was targeted by NATO forces in Nangarhar.
The JuA group has claimed responsibility for numbers of attacks in Pakistan, including a suicide bombing on July 24, in southeastern Pakistan’s Lahore, which killed 25 people.