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    Top Taliban commander among 26 killed

    KABUL (PAN): A top Taliban commander and his 25 fighters were killed during a combined operation by Afghan and foreign troops in southern Helmand province, authorities on Monday.

    The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the operation was conducted by intelligence operatives and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in Kajaki district.

    A statement from the spy service said the key Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Salam Abed, and his 25 loyalists were killed in the offensive. Security forces handed the bodies to tribal elders of the area.   

    Without identifying the other rebels, the statement said that Abed was the brother of Maulvi Abdul Qayum Zakir, the second deputy to Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

    Suicide vests and a large number of ammunitions were seized by the security personnel.

    Meanwhile, the governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, confirmed that Abed and his accomplices were eliminated in an ISAF operation two days ago. Ahmadi revealed five other Taliban militants were detained by intelligence operatives.

    Taliban are yet to comment on the incident.