Pentagon confirms deaths of top al Qaeda, Taliban leaders

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The Afghan intelligence agency says scores of al Qaeda figures, including senior leader Omar Khetab, have been killed in joint operations with coalition forces in the country's eastern and southern provinces.

Security forces also arrested 27 individuals in the operation in the eastern Afghan provinces of Ghazni, Paktia and Zabul, the agency said, without giving further details.

The statement made no mention of when the operations took place.

The US-Afghan operation comes as around 3,000 additional American troops promised by Trump are deployed to help train and assist beleaguered Afghan security forces who have been struggling to beat back Taliban and Islamic State insurgents.

The statement introduced the killed leader as Omar Khetab, saying Khetab was the most senior member of the network to be killed in Afghanistan so far.

The Afghan intelligence service also said earlier that Wali was killed in Helmand province. Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed and six members of the team injured.

The U.S. military also announced Tuesday that it had killed the leader of the Taliban's "Red Unit" in Helmand province, Mullah Shah Wali, with a strike on Dec. 1 in the district of Musa Qala.

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Wali was the commander of the Taliban's so-called "Red Unit", where he planned suicide bombings, improvised explosive device attacks and coordinated assaults, according to the release. "The entire international community agrees Afghanistan deserves security and lasting peace".