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Afghan Officials Say U.S. Strikes Killed Several Al-Qaeda Militants

FILE: Afghan security personnel patrol during an ongoing antiterrorism operation in Dangam district near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in eastern Kunar province.

U.S. air strikes in eastern Afghanistan killed several Al-Qaeda militants, including two Arabs and four Pakistanis, Afghan officials said on October 27.

Although the officials said they could not definitively identify the militants slain in a remote area of Kunar Province, they likely included two top leaders that the Pentagon said it targeted in the drone strikes.

Kunar's governor, Wahidullah Kalemzai, told RFE/RL's Radio Azadi that four militants of foreign origin were killed in an area of the province where Al-Qaeda has been present for years.

Other local officials reported that as many as eight militants were killed, including two Arabs and four Pakistanis. The militant leaders targeted by the Pentagon -- Faruq al-Qatani and Bilal al-Utabi -- were both Arab.

The AFP news agency quoted Afghan officials as saying they could confirm the death of Qatani and Utabi in the drone strikes.

The Pentagon said on October 26 that Qatani was a senior planner for attacks against the United States and had a hand in deadly attacks on American forces in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Radio Azadi