A “high-level” commander of the insurgency in Afghanistan was killed in a firefight with U.S. forces along the rugged border with Pakistan, according to an Army announcement.

Officials said Raz Mohammed, “implicated in many of the attacks against coalition forces in Paktika Province,” was killed alongside two other enemy fighters March 22 when Afghan and U.S. forces clashed with militants during a raid to capture Mohammed.

Mullah Hakim Latifi, a purported Taliban spokesman, in a satellite telephone conversation with The Associated Press from an undisclosed location said the clash occurred when U.S. troops surrounded the tents where Mohammed was living in Waza Khwa, an impoverished district on the Pakistani border.

He confirmed the death of Mohammed, who he said was a senior military commander in eastern Laghman province before the Taliban’s ouster in 2001.

He said Mohammed’s wife and six of his children also were killed.

Latifi claimed that eight American soldiers died in the battle, but the American military said coalition forces suffered no casualties.

Raz Mohammed served as governor in neighboring Paktia Province under Hamid Karzai’s interim government in 2002 and 2003 following the U.S.-led invasion.

Raz Mohammed was fired by Karzai in May 2003, according to reports.

The raid comes in the wake of a series of attacks against U.S. forces and aid groups in Afghanistan even as massive flooding wrecks havoc throughout the country’s lowlands with heavy winter snows melting into gushing spring torrents.

The night before, insurgents attacked Forward Operating Base Salerno with rocket fire.

FOB Salerno serves as the Army’s main hub in eastern Afghanistan.

Three border checkpoints also were attacked. U.S. warplanes and fire from 155 mm howitzers answered the attack, resulting in the death of five suspected insurgents.

That followed two bombings in Kandahar last week that left five civilians dead and damaged three U.N. vehicles.

The Italy-based Southern European Task Force — along with its brigade of paratroopers — recently took control combat operations in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now