Talibans shadow governor killed in Afghanistan

New York: In a major blow to Taliban, US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan have killed group`s Pakistan-trained shadow governor in restive Kunduz province, who was an expert in making improvised explosive devices, suicide vests and anti-aircraft weapons.

Mullah Bahador, Taliban`s shadow governor in Kunduz, was killed during a raid in the Chardara district in the province on Thursday night, The New York Times reported.

Abdul Rahman Saidkhaili, the provincial police chief, said the target of the raid was a house in the district.

Mullah Bahador was responsible for coordinating attacks against coalition forces in the Kunduz area, said Abdul Wahid Omar Khail, the governor of the Chardara district.

"He has been doing terrorist activities for the past three years; he was trained in one of the madrasas in Pakistan," he was quoted as saying by the NYT.

Mullah Bahador was the fourth Taliban governor in Kunduz, officials said; three previous ones were killed or fled to Pakistan.

The coalition forces confirmed they had killed Mullah Bahador, who "makes improvised explosive devices and suicide vests, leads a group of Taliban fighters and employs antiaircraft weapons against Afghan and coalition forces," the paper said.

Several suspected insurgents were arrested in the operation.

Kunduz Province, which borders the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan, has become increasingly violent in the past two years, as militants have relocated there after coalition operations against them in southern Afghanistan.

Kunduz City is now nearly cut off by violence, with all roads leading out controlled by Taliban and other armed groups.

The governor of Kunduz was killed in October by a bomb as he prayed in a mosque, and four Taliban suicide bombers killed five policemen two weeks ago.