Mullah Dadullah, key Pakistani Taliban leader, killed in Afghanistan: officials


Lieutenant Cumbie (L) of the U.S. Army's Dagger Company, 2-12 Infantry, 4th Brigade and an Afghan interpreter (R) talk to a village elder in Kolack in the Pesh Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province July 21, 2009. (Tim Wimborne/Reuters)

Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah was killed by a Friday airstrike in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province, NATO and Taliban officials said today, according to BBC News

The Pakistani Taliban claimed the assault killed Dadullah and his 12 bodyguards, according to Reuters.

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Dadullah served as the head of the Taliban in Pakistan's Bajaur tribal area bordering Afghanistan, reported Reuters, having replaced the former commander last year after it surfaced that he was allegedly involved in arranging peace talks with the Afghan government. 

NATO issued a statement today saying the commander, who was in his 40s and also known as Jamal, had attacked Afghan and NATO forces, said BBC

He was killed in a "precision airstrike" on Friday, the force said. The statement did not mention any bodyguards, but said Dadullah was "one of several insurgents killed."

The Pakistani Taliban is loyal to radical Islamist principles similar to those uniting the Taliban leadership overthrown in Afghanistan in 2001, said Reuters.