Airstrike Kills al-Qaeda's No. 2 in Afghanistan
Sakhr al-Taifi directed attacks against NATO, Afghan forces
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 29, 2012 8:29 AM CDT
A file photo of smoke from an airstrike in northeastern Afghanistan.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – NATO forces in Afghanistan have killed al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader in the country, in an airstrike in eastern Kunar province, the coalition said today. Sakhr al-Taifi, also known as Mushtaq and Nasim, was responsible for commanding foreign insurgents in Afghanistan and directing attacks against NATO and Afghan forces, the alliance said. He frequently traveled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, carrying out commands from senior al-Qaeda leadership and ferrying in weapons and fighters.

The airstrike that killed al-Taifi and another al-Qaeda militant took place Sunday in Kunar's Watahpur district, the coalition said. A follow-on assessment of the area determined that no civilians were harmed, it said. Most of al-Qaeda's senior leaders are now believed to be based in Pakistan, where they fled following the US invasion. The terrorist organization is believed to have only a nominal presence in Afghanistan.