NATO Kills al-Qaeda's No. 2 Man in Afghanistan

Airstrike gets Abdul Ghani
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2011 10:57 AM CDT
In this July 23, 2010 file photo, United States Marines watch the explosion after calling in an air strike.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File)

(Newser) – A NATO airstrike has taken out the alliance's second highest-ranked target in Afghanistan: Abdul Ghani, aka Abu Hafs al-Najdi, the alleged mastermind of a number of high-profile attacks, including the assassination of eastern tribal leader Malik Zarin. The strike occurred almost two weeks ago, in the Kunar province near the Pakistani border, but wasn’t announced until today, the BBC reports.

Ghani is No. 23 on the most-wanted list back in his home country of Saudi Arabia, and has been on NATO’s radar since 2007. He’s one of more than 25 al-Qaeda leaders NATO says it has killed this year—and the alliance thinks there are only about 100 members operating in the country. Here’s more somewhat good news: Afghan officials say they’ve recaptured 65 of the more than 470 prisoners who escaped from prison Sunday night.

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