US says airstrike killed al-Qaida leader in Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department says an airstrike in Afghanistan last month killed al-Qaida’s top leader in the eastern part of the country.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook has issued a written statement saying a precision strike conducted by the U.S. military on Oct. 23 in Kunar, Afghanistan, killed Faruq al-Qatani.

Cook says al-Qatani was one of al-Qaida’s “senior plotters of attacks against the United States.”

Cook says U.S. officials are still working to determine whether a second strike on the same date killed its target, Bilal al-Utabi, another al-Qaida leader in Afghanistan.

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