A heavily armed Taliban commander was killed Saturday during an pre-dawn shootout at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan, NATO said as it reported an American service member was killed in a separate attack.
A joint Afghan-international force went to a compound in Wardak province to look for an insurgent believed responsible for planning attacks and buying weapons and parts for making bombs, the international coalition said. When the joint force approached the compound, the Taliban commander, who was armed with grenades and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, ran to a nearby mosque.
Afghan security forces surrounded the mosque outside the town of Pirdad in the Nirkh district and called for him to surrender. When he didn't, they went inside.
"The Taliban commander opened fire with his AK-47 while in the mosque and was killed by the Afghan security force," NATO said in a statement.