U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on July 24 that a recent U.S. air strike killed a senior Al-Qaeda operational commander in eastern Afghanistan.
Speaking to reporters traveling with Carter on his current Middle East tour, Carter said the air strike killed Abu Khalil al-Sudani on July 11.
The air strike was in the Bermal district of Paktika Province, which borders Pakistan.
Carter described Al-Sudani as the head of Al-Qaeda’s suicide and explosives operations and that he was directly linked to plots to attack the United States.
He said Al-Sudani also directed operations against Afghan, Pakistani, and international coalition forces and that he maintained close contacts with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
A U.S. military official in Kabul said Al-Sudani also had been close to Osama bin Laden before his death.
Carter said two other “violent extremists” were killed in the air strike. He did not name them.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP