A Pakistani bomb-maker who trained Taliban terrorists before switching allegiance to Al-Qaeda has been killed in western Afghanistan, the country’s intelligence agency said Tuesday.
The agency said Mohammad Hanif, originally from Karachi, had “close relations” with the Taliban and helped train terrorists in making car bombs and improvised explosive devices.
It said he was initially a member of the Taliban, but joined Al-Qaeda in 2010.
Two Pakistani women were also detained in the operation that led to Hanif’s killing, the NDS said, without providing further details.
The Taliban have not commented.
Hanif’s killing comes just days after security agents killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, a top Al-Qaeda terrorist, long-wanted by the United States.
The Taliban’s sheltering Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden was the main justification for the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Some 19 years later, in a landmark deal with Washington made in February, the Taliban agreed not to allow Afghan soil to be used by foreign extremists — including Al-Qaeda — in return for the US withdrawing all troops.
Separately, the Taliban and Afghan government are currently engaged in peace talks that were launched in September, but have failed to make any significant progress.