3 Jun 2009

British troops kill senior Taliban leader - UK ministry

10:37 am on 3 June 2009

British troops have killed a senior Taliban leader in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence in London says.

In a statement, the ministry said Mullah Mansur died in a strike by British helicopters in an isolated area in the southern Helmand province, dealing a significant blow to the Taliban.

Mullah Mansur is accused of being responsible for suicide bomb attacks that have killed several British soldiers.

Britain is the second-biggest contributor of foreign troops to Afghanistan after the United States, deploying around 8,300 as part of a NATO-led force based mostly in the south, the heartland of a Taliban insurgency.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month announced a temporary increase to 9,000 soldiers, to help provide security for elections in August.