Afghan officials say they are investigating reports that a top commander of the Pakistani Taliban may have been killed during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border.
A senior police official in the region, Mohammad Zaman, said Thursday that authorities are trying to confirm reports that militant leader Maulana Fazlullah was among seven insurgents killed this week in clashes with Afghan security forces in the Barg Matal district in Nuristan province.
A Taliban chief in Pakistan, Maulana Faqir Mohammed, acknowledged Fazlullah was in Nuristan, but said his group was unable to confirm his death.
Fazlullah led the Taliban faction in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley until the army conducted major operations there last year, forcing him and other militant fighters to flee.
The hardline cleric was waging a violent campaign for Sharia law in the region.
In other violence, NATO said a homemade bomb killed a service member on Wednesday in southern Afghanistan.
Britain's Defense Ministry also confirmed Thursday that a British marine was killed in a blast in Helmand province.
More than 250 Britons have been killed in Afghanistan since they began operations there in 2001.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.