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Afghans Say Senior Taliban Commander Killed

26 September 2004 -- An Afghan official has claimed that a senior commander from the neo-Taliban militia was killed by Afghan forces in the central Oruzgan Province yesterday.

Provincial Governor Mohammad Khan said that Mawlavi Ghafar -- previously held at a U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay -- was killed along with two followers in an ambush in the Char Cheno district of Oruzgan last night.

Officials said Ghafar became the Taliban's senior commander for Oruzgan and the neighboring Helmand Province after he was released from the U.S. military prison on Cuba.

The Taliban militia was toppled from power by U.S.-led forces in 2001.

Remnants of the Taliban opposed to the U.S.-backed government and the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan have vowed to wage a campaign of violence that they hope will disrupt the presidential election slated for 9 October.