By Mark Dodd
AUSTRALIAN special forces have killed a senior Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Karim, an officially sanctioned assassination designed to rid Oruzgan province of hardcore militants.The operation took place on Monday August 10 but was only announced today by Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant-General Mark Evans.
Karim's death brings the number of senior insurgent leaders killed in top secret operations targeting Taliban militants responsible for attacks on coalition soldiers to more than half a dozen.
“Mullah Karim was killed during an operation directed against the insurgent network of improvised explosive device operators in Oruzgan province,” General Evans said.
In keeping with past targeted killings, few details were released although it's understood from defence sources that personnel from the elite Special Operations Task Group (SOTG), which includes members of the Special Air Service Regiment, were responsible.
Karim was a tactical-level insurgent commander active in the Khaz Oruzgan area and known to be responsible for for “numerous attacks” against Australian and Afghan forces, General Evans said.
The ADF has 1500 troops based in Afghanistan but only the 300-strong SOTG is involved in combat operations. The others are mostly involved in training Afghan security forces or engineering and reconstruction tasks.
Source: The Australian