Taliban’s designated spy chief killed in Balkh airstrike: MoD

At least nine Taliban militants – including the group’s spy chief Ajmal Mashak – were killed in an airstrike by the Afghan force in northern Balkh province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Friday.

The MoD said in a statement that the airstrike was conducted in the Hussain Khel village in the Balkh district of the province on Thursday.

According to the statement, at least five militants were also wounded in the raids.

“Ajmal Mashak was involved in targeted assassinations of two female ANA soldiers, who were killed in Balkh in January, and Mohammad Saleh Samim, chief physician at 209 Shaheen Military Corps, who was targeted this week,” the statement read.

The Taliban, however, claimed that residential areas have been targeted during the air raids that resulted in civilians casualties.