Militant linked to 2009 Sri Lanka cricket team attack killed in Afghanistan
A Pakistani militant linked to a number of high-profile attacks was killed in a joint Afghan-US special forces operation in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan police officials and Taliban commanders have said.
Qari Ajmal, allegedly responsible for several militant attacks in Pakistan, was killed in Afghanistan's Paktika province, three Taliban commanders said.
The operation started at midnight and lasted until early on Saturday morning, they said.
Ajmal, a leader of the banned al Qaida-linked Pakistani sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangi, was wanted for major attacks, most notably one on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009 that killed six police officers and wounded seven players.
Paktika police chief General Khalil Ziayee confirmed the operation, saying one militant was killed and three arrested. He gave no further details.
Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, the US military spokesman in Afghanistan, also confirmed the operation but did not say which militants were targeted.
"Afghan and US forces did conduct a counter-terrorism operation in Paktika," he said, but added that for security reasons "we do not discuss the details of counter-terror operations".
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a sizeable lawless border region, which serves as a safe haven for local and al Qaida-linked foreign Islamic militants.
They routinely shuttle back and forth across the border to evade security forces.