Afghanistan claims killing an al-Qaeda leader wanted by FBI

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ABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan claimed Sunday it killed a top al-Qaeda propagandist on an FBI most-wanted list during an operation in the country’s east, showing the group’s continued presence there as U.S. forces work to withdraw from America’s longest-running war amid continued bloodshed.

The reported death of Husam Abd al-Rauf, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Muhsin al-Masri, follows weeks of violence including an Islamic State-claimed suicide bombing Saturday at an education center near Kabul that killed 24 people. Meanwhile, the Afghan government continues to fight Taliban militants even as peace talks in Qatar between the two sides take place for the first time.

The violence and al-Rauf’s reported killing threatens the face-to-face peace talks and risks plunging this nation beset by decades of war into further instability. It also complicates America’s efforts to withdraw, 19 years after it led an invasion targeting the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Details over the raid that led to al-Rauf’s alleged death remained murky, hours after Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security intelligence service claimed on Twitter to have killed him in Ghazni province. Al-Qaeda did not immediately acknowledge al-Rauf’s reported death. The FBI, the U.S. military and NATO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Source: Politico.com

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