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December 3, 2018

AMERICA’S LONGEST WAR: Top Taliban Commander Killed by U.S. Airstrike in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Col. David Butler, spokesman for U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan, said Abdul Manan, the Taliban’s shadow governor in southern Helmand province, was killed late Saturday in an attack by an “unmanned aircraft.” In a statement, the Taliban also confirmed his death.

Mr. Manan’s killing is the biggest loss for the Taliban since 2016 when the group’s leader, Akhtar Mansour, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in western Pakistan. The killing of Mr. Mansour sank the prospects for peace talks at the time, as the Taliban resented the loss of its chief.

Mr. Manan’s death comes as the U.S. steps up the air war in Afghanistan in an attempt to bolster its sway in embryonic efforts with the insurgency to get peace negotiations under way to end the 17-year war.

“Pack up and go” doesn’t seem so bad after 17 years.