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Senior Al-Qaeda Leader In Afghanistan Killed

NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said today they had killed a senior Al-Qaeda leader and the second-most-wanted insurgent in the country in an air strike in eastern Kunar Province, bordering Pakistan, ending a near four-year manhunt.

Abu Hafs al-Najdi, also known as Abdul Ghani, a Saudi Arabian, was killed 12 days ago in Dangam district, on April 13, as he met other senior insurgents and Al-Qaeda members, an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) statement said.

"Abdul Ghani was responsible for the coordination of numerous high-profile attacks. On the morning of his death, he reportedly directed the suicide attack that killed tribal elder Malik Zarin and nine other Afghan civilians," ISAF said.

Abu Hafs al-Najdi was Al-Qaeda's operations chief for Kunar and was responsible for establishing insurgent camps and training sites throughout the volatile mountain province.

ISAF said he was one of more than 25 Al-Qaeda operatives killed in Afghanistan during operations over the past month in the leadup to Afghanistan's summer fighting months.

Najdi, whose real name was Saleh Naiv Almakhlvi Day, controlled and armed a network of insurgents that targeted Afghan and ISAF security force outposts throughout Kunar, including two in February, ISAF said.