KABUL, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- A senior leader of the Afghan militant group Haqqani network was killed in a NATO air strike in eastern Afghan province of Khost on Tuesday, according to a statement released here Wednesday.
"A combined Afghan and coalition security force killed a senior Haqqani leader and two of his associates during a precision airstrike in Musa Khel district, Khost province, yesterday," the statement said.
Identifying the slain leader as Dilawar, the statement said, " Dilawar, who was only known by one name, was a principal subordinate to Haji Mali Khan, Afghanistan's Haqqani network main leader."
Haji Mali Khan was captured a week ago in the neighboring Paktia province. "Dilawar also facilitated the movement of foreign fighters and was associated with both al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan," the statement said.
Founded by Mawlawi Jalaludin Haqqani and led by his son Sirajudin Haqqani, Haqqani network has been fighting against Afghan and NATO-led troops in the Afghan capital Kabul and eastern provinces bordering Pakistan.
"In an effort to prevent insurgent activity, the Haqqani network and its safe havens remain a top priority for the Afghan and coalition force. Thus far in 2011 security forces have conducted more than 530 operations in an effort to disrupt Haqqani network activities in eastern Afghanistan, resulting in the death of 20 network leaders and the capture of more than 1,400 suspected Haqqani insurgents," the statement added.
Special Report: Afghanistan Situation