Afghanistan claims United States drone strike kills Pakistan Taliban leader

16 Junio, 2018, 02:48 | Author: Kelly Blake

A US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the strike late Wednesday targeted Mullah Fazlullah, the fugitive chief of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in the volatile Afghan province of Kunar.

RAWALPINDI: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa and shared news about killing of Mullah Fazlullah in a drone strike in Kunar province of Afghanistan.

US forces had conducted the strike close to the border of Pakistan, targeting the chief of the group, according US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell. O'Donnell, however, did not specify that Fazullah was the target.

A spokesperson for Afghanistan's ministry of defence said two other Taliban militants were also killed in the strike in Kunar province.

They said they feared four other top commanders may also have been killed.

Fazlullah's 17-year-old son Abdullah and 20 other militants were reportedly killed in another USA drone strike in Kunar in March this year.

Along with masterminding the attack on Yousafzai, Fazlullah was the leader of the TTP when they claimed responsibility for the bloodiest terrorist attack in Pakistan's history, on 16 December 2014 at Army Public School in Peshawar, which left around 150 people majority schoolchildren dead.

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The five men who died in the drone attack were buried in Bachai Graveyard early in the morning of June 14. Pakistan had demanded Afghanistan to hand over 43 militants, including Fazlullah, in the meetings.

The TTP leader had a reputation as a ruthless commander prepared to do anything to enforce his uncompromising interpretation of Islamic law.

Fazlullah known as Mullah Radio, a hardliner who broadcast fiery sermons and hard-line ideology via an extremist radio station. He had also conducted many other deadly attacks including December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that claimed lives of 151 people, out of which 130 were children.

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The strike should also build trust between the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan at a crucial moment in peace negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, he said.

Bajwa's visit came days after the Afghan Taliban announcement on June 9 of a three-day cease-fire over Eid Al-Fitr, the first truce of its kind offered by the Taliban since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

"As previously stated, the cease-fire does not include US counterterrorism efforts against IS-K, al-Qaida, and other regional and worldwide terrorist groups, or the inherent right of USA and global forces to defend ourselves if attacked", US military spokesman O'Donnell told VOA.

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