November 5, 2016 / 12:38 AM / a year ago

U.S. says October strike killed al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military strike in Afghanistan last month killed one of the senior al Qaeda leaders in the country, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Faruq al-Qatani, who served as al Qaeda’s leader for northeastern Afghanistan and had been assigned by the group’s leadership to re-establish safe havens in the country, was killed in the Oct. 23 strike in Kunar, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

He said the Pentagon was still assessing the result of a separate strike on the same day targeting another al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, Bilal al-Utabi.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Diane Craft

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