Pakistani Taliban chief allegedly killed in United States drone strike

Jun 16, 2018, 00:49

"The ceasefire does not include U.S. counterterrorism efforts against (Islamic State and al Qaeda) and other regional and worldwide terrorist groups, or the inherent right of USA and global forces to defend ourselves if attacked", O'Donnell said.

Another government official told the AP that Fazlullah - who ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai - as well as five other insurgents were killed when their vehicle was struck.

A spokesman for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Friday would only confirm that a "senior leader of a designated terror organisation" had been targeted in a drone strike in Afghanistan's Kunar province.

In March, the US State Department had announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest or capture of Fazlullah.

United States officials said Fazlullah directed numerous high-profile attacks against USA and Pakistani targets since he was appointed the group's leader in 2013, such as the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 151 people, including more than 130 children. -Afghan airstrike in Afghanistan, a senior Afghan Defence Ministry official said on Friday.

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Pakistan's role in convincing the Afghan Taliban, which operates mostly in Islamabad, to open negotiations in Afghanistan, is believed to be key.

Pentagon officials declined to comment at this time on whether the strike was successful.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Friday called Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and shared news of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Mullah Fazlullah's killing in a drone strike in Kunar, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations.

A ruthless leader, Fazlullah ordered the bombing and beheadings of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them in 2009.

Pakistani intelligence officials, who spoke to RFE/RL on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said Fazlullah was killed.

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Malala rose to prominence for promoting female education as a young girl.

He was known as "Mullah Radio" for his fiery sermons broadcast over a radio channel.

He was reviled in Pakistan for the 2014 assault on an army-run school in the city of Peshawar in which Pakistani Taliban gunmen killed at least 132 children.

The administrative district, in northwestern Pakistan, was where militants shot and wounded teen activist Yousafzai in October 2012 as she was riding home from school in a van; the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility.

The Pakistan Taliban waged a decade-long insurgency to establish strict Islamic rule, but most fighters have by now fled to Kabul.

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An enraged youth who was among the protestors, hurled stone at the vehicle, said an eyewitness who identified himself as Muzaffar. However, despite the agreement, protests took place outside the Jamia Masjid and its neighbouring areas after prayers on Friday.

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