|Lalit K Jha,
Washington, May 29 - The death of Sakhr al-Taifi, al-Qaeda's second in command in Afghanistan, is a major blow to the terrorist outfit in the war torn country, the Pentagon said today.
"Sakhr al-Taifi was responsible for commanding foreign insurgents and directing attacks against coalition and Afghan forces," the Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, told reporters at a news conference.
"He frequently travelled between Afghanistan and Pakistan, carrying out commands from senior al-Qaeda leadership. He also supplied weapons and equipment to insurgents in the east and managed transport of insurgent fighters into Afghanistan," he said.
Little said after identifying al-Taifi and an additional al-Qaeda terrorist and taking careful steps to ensure no civilians were in the area, US forces engaged the targets with a precision airstrike. A follow-on assessment determined no civilians were harmed in this operation, he added.
"This operation is another example of our ongoing efforts to degrade and weaken al-Qaeda's leadership and a reminder of the mission we are pursuing to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for al-Qaeda and or its militant allies," Little said.
"Despite the unprecedented pressure we have applied, al-Qaeda remains a threat to our forces and to our homeland, and we will continue to -- continue to pursue our goal of dismantling and ultimately defeating them," he said. PTI