The International Security Assistance Force confirmed two Taliban leaders have been killed while a third Taliban leader was detained during Afghan and coalition operations in Kunar and Kunduz provinces Jan. 8 and 9.
Qari Baryal, al-Qaida-associated Taliban leader was killed in a coalition air strike Jan. 7 in Kunar province. He was an active attack planner who led at least 25 fighters. Additionally, he maintained close contact with al-Qaida leaders and facilitators.
He used Taliban compounds to launch attacks on the Pech Valley Road in Kunar and emplaced a heavy machine gun on the eastern ridge line of a nearby village to provide over watch for his sub-leaders. The Taliban leader also used light machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades to support insurgent operations near the Pech Valley Road.
On Jan. 8, Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban facilitator involved in the planning and execution of the Dec. 19 attack against an Afghan National Security Force recruiting center in Kunduz City.
The Dec. 19 attack against an Afghan National Security Force recruiting center in Kunduz City resulted in eight Afghan National Security Force deaths.
The Taliban facilitator was responsible for the distribution and use of improvised explosive devices and suicide vehicle-borne IEDs in the province. He was directly associated with the Kunduz Taliban shadow governor and deputy shadow governor and maintains contact with other Taliban insurgents throughout Afghanistan.
On Jan. 9, Afghan and coalition forces killed Maulawi Zahir, the Taliban leader of Khanabad district of Kunduz province.
In addition to being the Khanabad district leader, Maulawi Zahir was also an improvised explosive device and weapons facilitator within the province. He maintained ties with several senior Taliban leaders who are in Pakistan.
Also killed during the operation was Zabit Murchak, an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Taliban leader for Takhar and Kunduz provinces. He is responsible for attacks on tribesmen in northern Afghanistan. Recent reporting indicates he was involved in the recent kidnapping of a Dutch non-governmental organization worker.