The U.S. military conducted an airstrike in Afghanistan in the past week that likely killed at least one senior al Qaeda leader, the first such strike targeting leadership of the militant group in Afghanistan in several years, according to military and defense officials.
The operation, which took place over the weekend but hasn’t been previously disclosed, may have struck as many as three al Qaeda leaders or operatives, military officials said. U.S. officials weren’t initially able to confirm the individuals had been killed, but they were assessing evidence at the site of the strike.
The al Qaeda members targeted were described as old-guard leaders from the group who had been sought by the military for some time. Officials didn’t identify them by name or specify where in Afghanistan the strike occurred. The attack wasn’t thought to have targeted Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri, leader of al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
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