Kabul (June 15, 2018): Chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in a drone strike on Wednesday in Kunar Province in Afghanistan, said sources
Wednesday’s drone strike reportedly took place in Marawayra district along the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Click Play Button To Watch This Video
Reports also indicate another four TTP commanders were killed in the strike.
This is not however the first time reports have emerged of the death of Fazlullah after the elusive chief of the banned group was named TTP chief in late 2013. He succeeded Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a drone strike in November of that year.
US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Martin O’Donnell meanwhile confirmed the US Forces conducted a counterterrorism strike on Wednesday in Kunar province and that a senior leader of a terrorist organization had been targeted. However, he did not reveal the identity of the target or the name of the group. He also stated that US-Forces were adhering to government’s ceasefire with the Taliban but that the ceasefire does not include counterterrorism efforts against Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
“US Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s unilateral cease-fire with the Afghan Taliban, announced by H.E. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which began on the twenty-seventh day of Ramadan. “As previously stated, the cease-fire does not include US counterterrorism efforts against IS-K (Daesh), Al-Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups, or the inherent right of US and international forces to defend ourselves if attacked. We hope this pause leads to dialogue and progress on reconciliation and a lasting end to hostilities,” he said.
A said that other commanders of the TTP killed in the drone strike include Abu Bakr, Sajjad, Emran and Mawlawi Omar.
Officials have in the past said Fazlullah directed numerous high-profile attacks against US and Pakistani targets over the years. He has in the past been blamed for attacks such as the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 151 people, including more than 130 children.
Reports also emerged a few years ago that he had ordered the 2012 attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai, who had been advocating for the right of girls to have access to an education.
In March this year, the US State Department offered a $5 million reward for Fazlullah, the same month Pakistani sources said his son was killed in a US drone strike on a TTP training facility.For years Pakistan said Fazlullah was living on Afghan soil – but the Afghan government refused to accept Islamabad’s claim.
Afghanistan’s government has not commented on the report so far.