The chief of Al-Qaeda’s South Asian branch was killed in a US-Afghan joint raid in southern Afghanistan last month, Afghan officials confirmed Tuesday.
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 the Musa Qala district of Helmand province.
The Afghan Taliban denied that Umar had died, calling the report “enemy fabricated propaganda” meant to hide having hit a wedding party that had “only caused heavy civilian losses”.
“Tens of ordinary civilian Afghans including those participating in a wedding ceremony” were killed and wounded, it said in an English-language statement published by SITE Intelligence, which monitors terrorist activities worldwide.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security said Umar was a Pakistani citizen, though some reports claim he was born in India.