Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Afghan strike targeted Pakistani Taliban chief

Afghan strike targeted Pakistani Taliban chief

The airstrike was conducted at about 9 a.m. local time on Thursday, Radmanish added.

A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said a strike had been launched against a "senior leader of a designated terrorist organisation" but did not name Fazlullah or announce the death.

The Express Tribune, citing sources, also said the drone strike that took place in the Nur Gul Kalay village of Dangam district killed Fazlullah and four other Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) commanders.

On Friday night, Major General Asif Ghafoor, Pakistani military spokesman tweeted: "President of Afghanistan Mr. Ashraf Ghani called General Qamar Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff and shared news about killing of Mullah Fazlullah in a drone strike in Afghanistan Kunar province".

Fazlullah is believed to have ordered the failed 2012 assassination of Malala Yousafzai, who became a global symbol of the fight for girls' rights to schooling, and who later won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The US State Department in March announced a $5 million reward for help locating the militant leader, who has also been linked to the 2010 attempted Times Square vehicle bombing in NY.

Fazlullah emerged as an Islamist leader in the Swat Valley, northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, more than a decade ago.

"Killing of the TTP commander is a positive development".

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This year, Malala Yousafzai - now a Nobel Peace Prize victor - returned to Pakistan for the first time since she was attacked on October 9, 2012.

It happened hours before a three-day cease fire between Afghanistan's Taliban and USA and Afghan forces, meant to coincide with the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

"Mullah Fazlullah was the only person that was organizing suicide attacks and explosions inside Pakistan".

Fazlullah is considered one of the most-wanted Pakistan militants and is believed to be behind the attacks on Pakistani security officials and civilians.

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.

The U.S. officials who spoke anonymously to Reuters, Voice of America, and AFP said Fazlullah's status was unclear or declined to say whether the operation was successful.

Fazlullah known as Mullah Radio, a hardliner who broadcast fiery sermons and hard-line ideology via an extremist radio station.

Until recently, the Trump administration had been increasing pressure on Pakistan to halt support for Taliban responsible for attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces. Pakistan, in return, has accused Afghanistan of sheltering the Pakistani Taliban.

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