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Taliban 'Red Unit' Commander Killed In Afghanistan

FILE. Taliban fighters in southeastern Paktia province in July.
FILE. Taliban fighters in southeastern Paktia province in July.

The Taliban commander of its so-called "special forces" branch, known as the "Red Unit," has been killed by Afghan forces, according to Afghanistan's main intelligence agency.

In a statement on December 3, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Mullah Shah Wali, also known as Mullah Naser, was killed in an air operation in Helmand Province last week.

The province is a Taliban stronghold in the heartland of Afghanistan's lucrative drug trade.

Wali became the commander of the Taliban's "Red Unit" as well as deputy shadow governor of Helmand Province three years ago and was directly involved in Taliban offensives, the statement said.

The Red Unit is thought to be equipped with advanced weapons, including night vision scopes, 82-millimeter rockets, heavy machine guns, and U.S.-made assault rifles, according to the Afghan military.

Wali was killed alongside a militant suicide bomber and two other Taliban commanders in Helmand's Musa Qala district, according to the NDS.

Based on reporting by Reuters and