NATO says its troops have killed a senior Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan.

The military alliance says Mullah Assad was senior Taliban operational commander for southern Helmand province. Assad was killed on Wednesday.

In a statement Sunday, NATO says Assad was linked to attacks in Helmand's Garmser district.

U.S. and NATO-led troops have said they will continue with their operations against the Taliban and other insurgents throughout the cold winter months.

More than 5,200 people have been killed this year in insurgency-related violence according to a tally of figures compiled by the Associated Press. A majority of those killed are militants.