NATO Raid Kills Ex-Gitmo Detainee in Afghanistan

He became al-Qaeda operative after leaving Gitmo, say officials
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2011 11:23 AM CDT
NATO Raid Kills Ex-Gitmo Detainee in Afghanistan
An Afghan man displays some of the used bullets at the scene where Sabar Lal Melma was killed in Jalalabad.   (Rahmat Gul)

NATO and Afghan forces killed a former Guantanamo detainee who had become a key al-Qaeda affiliate after returning to Afghanistan, officials said today. Sabar Lal Melma, who was released from Guantanamo in 2007 after five years of detention, had been organizing attacks in eastern Kunar province and funding insurgent operations, said a NATO spokesman.

Troops surrounded Melma's house in Jalalabad city last night and shot him dead when he emerged from the building holding an AK-47 assault rifle. A guard at the house said a group of American soldiers scaled the walls of the compound about 11pm local time. Melma is not the first former detainee to rejoin the insurgency. In 2009, the Pentagon said 61 detainees, or approximately 11%, released from Guantanamo had rejoined the fight. Experts have questioned the validity of that number. (More al-Qaeda stories.)

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