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U.S.-Led Forces Kill Taliban Commander, Officials Say


KABUL (Reuters) -- U.S.-led troops have killed a wanted Taliban commander in an air strike in Afghanistan's southwestern province of Badghis, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

Mullah Dastagir was killed, along with eight other militants, in a raid on a village near Turkmenistan's border on the night of February 15, they said.

Dastagir was behind a series of attacks in Badghis, including an ambush in which 13 Afghan soldiers were killed last November, they added.

Before that ambush, Dastagir had been jailed but was released by order of President Hamid Karzai, a Defense Ministry official said.

The U.S. military confirmed the air strike and the casualties including Dastagir's killing.

The Taliban could not be reached for comment.

Ousted in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001, in reprisal for sheltering Al-Qaeda leaders responsible for the September 11 attacks on America, the Taliban have managed to extend the scope and extent of their insurgency in recent years.

Separately, a roadside bomb has killed three employees of a road construction company in the eastern province of Kunar, the Interior Ministry said, adding that three more were wounded in the blast.