"We previously announced on October 23 a precision airstrike that killed Faruq al-Qatani, the Al-Qaeda emir for Eastern Afghanistan. The [Defense] Department now determined that the same strike killed two additional senior al-Qaeda leaders Bilal al-Utabyi, al-Qatani’s Deputy and Abd al-Wahid al-Junabi, a senior al-Qaeda explosives expert," Cook said.
The spokesperson explained that the three were actively involved in carrying out and planning terrorist attacks inside and outside Afghanistan.
"The deaths of these three al-Qaida leaders will significantly reduce the group's ability to threaten the United States, our interests and our allies," Cook added.
Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with Taliban insurgents and other extremist factions operating in the country. The United States has been carrying out a counter-terrorist operation in Afghanistan since 2001.