Militant linked to Kabul hotel attack said killed in NATO airstrike
A senior insurgent leader who allegedly assisted in a Kabul hotel attack this week that left at least 11 people dead was killed in a NATO airstrike, the alliance said Thursday, DPA reported.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Wednesday killed a top Haqqani network leader suspected of providing material support for the Kabul attack in a precision airstrike in the Gardez district of the south-eastern province of Paktiya, it said.
Nine civilians, including two foreigners, and two police officers were killed in a four-hour overnight raid at the Intercontinental Hotel. Nine militants stormed the hotel late Tuesday and started a gunfight with security forces that lasted until early Wednesday. All the insurgents were killed or blew themselves up.
The insurgent leader in the airstrike has been identified as Ismail Jan, the ISAF said. He was killed with several other fighters in the Haqqani network, which is an ally of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The Haqqani network and Taliban operatives was responsible for hotel attack, Afghan and ISAF officials said.
It is known as the most ruthless militant group under the Taliban umbrella that has been fighting Afghan and international forces since the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001.
Afghan-led security forces have captured or killed more than 80 Haqqani leaders and facilitators since January, primarily in the volatile eastern provinces of Paktika, Paktiya and Khost, which border Pakistan, the ISAF said.