Page last updated at 19:18 GMT, Sunday, 11 January 2009

Australians 'kill Taleban chief'

Map of Afghanistan

Australian special forces have killed a senior Taleban leader in southern Afghanistan, the Australian Defence Ministry has said.

Mullah Abdul Rasheed was described as a senior Taleban commander responsible for bringing in fighters and potential suicide bombers into Uruzgan province.

He was described as being responsible for the deaths of civilians and members of the coalition.

More than 1,000 Australian troops are based in Afghanistan.

"Rasheed was a senior commander in the Baluchi Valley and was believed to be responsible for Taleban operations in the area resulting in the deaths of Coalition Force members and Afghan civilians in recent months," an Australian Defence Ministry statement said.

"He had been identified as a primary IED facilitator, responsible for coordinating IED emplacement in Uruzgan province," the statement said.

His death had "disrupted" Taleban operations in the restive province, the ministry said.

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