The U.S. military killed Taliban “shadow governor” Quari Tayib in an airstrike, further destabilizing the group’s activities in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced in a press release Saturday.
The airstrike hit the Archi district of Kunduz province April 17 and killed Tayib, a high-level Taliban operative, whom the U.S. has been trying to target since 2011.
Tayib, a shadow governor of Takhar province, was directly responsible for the deaths of numerous U.S. servicemembers. The strike also killed eight other Taliban fighters.
Shadow governors belonging to the Taliban operate in all of Afghanistan’s provinces and are particularly strong in the southern parts of the country where the Afghan government has little to no control.
The Taliban answered the strike Friday with the most devastating attack since the beginning of the war in 2001, killing at least 160 Afghan troops in the process at a military base in the Balkh province.
In that attack, 10 Taliban fighters, with the help of defectors from the Afghan military base, infiltrated the installation by claiming they were bringing in wounded soldiers for treatment and started firing on unarmed troops and officers. The attack lasted for hours. Two fighters blew themselves up, seven died in the assault and Afghan authorities detained one.
There is now a shortage of coffins for all the dead Afghan troops.
Since President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the Pakistan-backed Taliban has made steady strides forward in retaking much of the territory it had lost to the Afghan regime in northern Kunduz and in the Helmand province, one of the most brutal battlefields between the Taliban and U.S. troops.
Approximately 6,700 Afghan servicemembers died fighting the Taliban in 2016.
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