Regional Al-Qaeda Leader Killed In Afghanistan, Say Officials

Cheryl Sanders
October 9, 2019

Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security said Umar was a Pakistani citizen, though some reports claim he was born in India.

Asim Omar, head of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), died in the raid on September 23, reported the BBC, citing the Afghan National Directorate of Security.

According to reports, Umar was killed along with six other members in southern Helmand Province in September. A United States treasury statement on Umar's designation as a "specially designated global terrorist" in June 2016 gave his place of birth as Sambhal and said he was born between 1974 and 1976.

Omar was the head of operations in South Asia and died alongside his courier to Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

The operation was carried out in the Musa Qala district of the Helmand province on September 23, the NDS said in a tweet.

India-born Asim Umar, the chief of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has been killed during a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban hideout in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Afghan officials said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, U.S. -led peace talks with the Taliban appear to be back on after President Trump's envoy recently traveled to Pakistan.

The US launched its war in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 because the Taliban, which then ruled the country, refused to hand over then-al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

The UN report found that US and Afghan forces killed 717 civilians and injured 680 in the first six months of the year, up 31 per cent from the same period in 2018.

In June 2016, the USA state department announced the designation of both Umar and AQIS as terrorists.

After writer-blogger Avijit Roy was murdered on Feb 26, 2015 in a brutal attack, a Tweeter handle named "Ansar Bangla 7" had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Despite the operation taking down several senior members of Al-Qaeda, at least 40 people attending a nearby wedding party were inadvertently killed, according to local officials.

He also played a key role in al Qaeda's online propaganda operations and was believed to have close ties with Indian Mujahideen and Ansar-ut-Tawhid fi Bilad al-Hind.

Other reports by iNewsToday