NATO Kills Taliban Commander in Targeted Operation

NATO and Afghan forces killed a Taliban commander during a targeted operation just south of Kabul in a province militant fighters have poured into this year, the NATO-led force said Tuesday.

The commander, Mohammad Bobi, had facilitated suicide bombings and had a history of torturing and kidnapping Afghan civilians in the province of Logar, NATO said.

Bobi was given the option of surrendering, but he instead attacked the combined force and was killed during an overnight raid, NATO said. His death was confirmed Tuesday.

Logar province, which is directly south of Kabul province, has seen an influx of Taliban militants this year. Residents there say the government has little or no control in the province outside the provincial capital.

Between 3,000 and 3,500 additional U.S. troops scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan in January will be sent to Logar and Wardak provinces, two regions adjoining Kabul that have seen an influx of militant fighters over the last year.

U.S. commanders say the troops will aggressively attack militants in those regions and that they expect violence there to spike over the coming months as the number of clashes increases.

The main highways that run through Wardak and Logar are extremely dangerous. Convoys of supply trucks are regularly attacked and militants set up temporary checkpoints in search of government employees and foreigners to kidnap or kill.