Wednesday, April 16, 2008


A senior Taliban commander who became a hero to Islamic militants for his role in shooting down a U.S. helicopter in 2005, killing all 16 special forces troops aboard, has been killed by Pakistani security forces, officials and Taliban militants tell CBS News.

Mullah Ismail, a notorious Taliban commander from the Afghan province of Kunar, was killed in a shootout with Pakistani police as he traveled with a kidnapped trader, a local police officer said Wednesday. He was apparently on his way into the lawless Northwest Frontier Province along the Afghan border.

Officer Mukarma Khan said Ismail, also known as Mullah Ahmad Shah, had kidnapped the trader from a camp for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and was trying to transport him back to the border when he failed to stop at the checkpoint. He apparently opened fire on the police and was killed in the following exchange of gunfire.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the death of the key commander and said he was a prominent Taliban figure in the area.

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