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NATO forces kill top al-Qaida insurgent

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 26 (UPI) -- The death of a top al-Qaida insurgent in a recent airstrike in Afghanistan's Kunar province was confirmed Tuesday by NATO forces.

Saudi national Abu Hafs al-Najdi, also known as Abdul Ghani, described as NATO's No. 2 targeted insurgent in Afghanistan, was killed April 13 in the province's Dangam district, the International Security Assistance Force said.

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The April 13 airstrike also killed several other insurgents including another al-Qaida leader and a Ghani associate identified only as Waqas, the report said.

The coalition forces have been looking for Ghani since at least 2007, the report said.

Ghani operated mainly from Kunar recruiting, training, acquiring weapons and equipment, providing al-Qaida finances and planning attacks on Afghan and coalition forces, the report said.

He also traveled frequently between Afghanistan and Pakistan as a key financial conduit between Pakistan-based leaders and insurgent operatives in Afghanistan.

Ghani's numerous high-profile attacks included one on the morning of his death in which a suicide attacker killed tribal elder Malik Zarin and nine other Afghan civilians. Last year and early this year, Ghani had used his insurgent network to attack security outposts throughout Kunar.

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In the past month, the report said coalition forces have killed more than 25 al-Qaida leaders and fighters, adding the killing of Ghani is a significant milestone in the disruption of the terror network.

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