Nato strike in Afghanistan kill top Taliban leader

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A top Taliban commander and his deputy have been killed in an air strike carried out by Nato in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance has said.

"Maulawi Nur Mohammad, and his deputy, Atiqullah were among the dozens of heavily armed insurgents killed in a precision air strike," Nato said.

They were the senior commanders in the Chapa Dara district of Kunar province, on the border with Pakistan.

The area is regularly shelled from the Pakistani side.

Pakistanis and Afghans accuse each other of failing to act against militant attacks inside each other's territory.

Senior officials in Kunar told the BBC the militants arrived in "dozens of vehicles" to burn houses of villagers and "possibly execute people".

In its statement, Nato said that Afghan and coalition security forces had seen "a large group of heavily armed insurgents engaging in insurgent activity" before launching "a precision air strike".

It said the troops had confirmed that "the strike had not injured any civilians or damaged any civilian property".

The statement said "Muhammad, also known as Turabi, was the senior Taliban leader for Chapa Dara district". It gave no second name for Atiqullah, who was also known as Khalid.

Local officials said 46 suspected Taliban members had died.

Taliban leaders, however, said 13 had been killed and 10 wounded.

District police chief Najibullah Gujar told AFP news agency the militants had gathered to publicly execute a man accused of killing another man from a rival family.

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