LONDON – Britain's Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that a Taliban leader had surrendered to Pakistani authorities and another leading insurgent had been killed by British forces.
British forces spokesman Lt. Col. Robin Matthews said Mullah Rahim, the most senior Taliban leader in Helmand province, surrendered to Pakistani authorities on Saturday.
Matthews said that British forces killed Abdul Rasaq — a Taliban leader who led fighters in the Musa Qala area of Helmand. He said Rasaq, also known as Mullah Rahim, was killed by a precision missile strike just after midnight on Sunday.
Rasaq is the third senior Taliban leader killed by British forces in recent weeks.
"The Taliban's senior leadership structure has suffered a shattering blow. They remain a dangerous enemy, but they increasingly lack strategic direction and their proposition to the Afghan people is proving ultimately negative and self-defeating," Matthews said.
The Ministry of Defense said Bishmullah — a key strategist for the Taliban — was killed on July 12. Another senior strategist and bomb-maker — Sadiqullah — was killed in an Apache missile strike in late June.
"I advise all those Taliban who are engaging with terrorist actions that the fighting has no benefits," the Helmand governor, Mangal, said in a speech the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, according to the British statement.
Pakistan did not confirm the British statement.