The Taliban has rejected the claims of the death of Indian-born, chief of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Asim Omar, hours after an announcement by the Afghan government. The armed group said that the declaration was a part of "fabricated propaganda" perpetrated by the Kabul administration.
"Officials of the stooge Kabul administration claimed to have killed a leader associated with Al Qaeda organization during the raid and bombing of a wedding in Musa Kala district, Helmand," Taliban spokesperson Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement.
"We categorically reject this claim by Kabul officials and consider it a part of enemy fabricated propaganda," he added. The operation was carried out in the Musa Qala district of the Helmand province on September 23, the NDS said in a tweet.
"NDS can now confirm the death of Asim Omar, leader of #Al_Qaeda in the #Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), in a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Sep. 23,' the tweet read.
Six other members of the AQIS group were also killed in the operation, the NDS said, adding that most of these members were Pakistani citizens. The terrorist group also claimed that the government is trying to "conceal" the fact that a huge of civilians were killed in the operation in Musa Kala. The development has come at a time when peace talks between the US and Afghanistan are stalled. The two had reached an agreement "in principle" but President Donald Trump later called off the talks in the aftermath of the Kabul terror attack.
At least 24 civilians were killed on Monday during a raid conducted by Afghan special forces on Taliban hideouts in the southern Helmand province, provincial officials said. There were conflicting reports on the numbers of killed and wounded from different sources as the area is under Taliban control. According to Afghan, there were two separate raids in different areas of Musa Qala.
The first operation killed six foreign fighters, while the second raid "mistakenly" hit civilians, he said. Akhund said authorities are investigating reports civilians attending a wedding died in the raid Sunday night in Musa Qala. Omar Zwak, the provincial governor's spokesman, said 14 insurgents including six foreigners were killed during the raid. They were investigating reports of civilian casualties.
(With agency inputs)