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Top Taliban commander killed by US airstrike in Afghanistan

IANS  |  Islamabad 

A top was killed in what is believed to have been a US airstrike in Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

was the "shadow governor" for province in the south, a key territory for the group, which also gave him control over a large part of the group's finances, reports news.

is the centre of the country's drug trade and the Taliban tax the drugs business.

Manan's death on Saturday was confirmed by three Taliban officials.

His death would be the biggest loss for the Taliban since 2016 when the group's leader, Akhtar Mansour, was killed in a US drone strike in western

The killing of Mansour sank the prospects for peace talks at the time as the Taliban resented the loss of its chief.

The latest airstrike was near the town of in Helmand, Taliban sources said.

Manan was one of the most influential figures in the Taliban, considered a hardliner. His hold over the drugs business gave him an independent voice within the Taliban hierarchy.

He was considered the force behind the Taliban's success in

The Taliban's hold on Helmand allowed more members of the movement to travel into from their base in

A for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, said he was checking the reports.

David Butler, the for US-led international forces in Afghanistan, said the US was "looking closely into reports" that Manan had been killed in an airstrike.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 20:14 IST