Afghan officials confirm killing of top al-Qaeda leader in Helmand
KABUL -- The leader of al-Qaeda's South Asian branch was killed in a US-Afghan joint raid in southern Afghanistan last month, Afghan officials confirmed Tuesday (October 8).
Asim Umar, who led al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) from its inception in 2014, was killed during a raid September 23 on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala District, Helmand Province.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Umar was a Pakistani citizen, though some reports claim he was born in India.
He "was killed along with six other AQIS members, most of them Pakistani", the NDS said on Twitter, adding that Umar had been "embedded" with the Taliban.
The NDS said that among the six other AQIS members killed in the raid was a man identified as "Raihan", a courier for al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The raid was part of a lengthy and complex overnight operation on September 22-23 for which the United States provided air support.