Published: Mon, June 18, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Pakistan Taliban chief Fazlullah who shot Malala killed in USA drone strike

Pakistan Taliban chief Fazlullah who shot Malala killed in USA drone strike

A USA drone strike in northeastern Kunar province killed Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called up army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to confirm the death of Pakistani Taliban's top commander as The Express Tribune acquired the pictures of the purported graves of Mullah Fazlullah and his four lieutenants killed in the June 13 USA drone strike in north-eastern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said on Friday that Fazlullah was targeted in Thursday's strike in Kunar.

According to Pakistani officials, Fazlullah, who is believed to be in his 40s, took refuge in Afghanistan after the TTP was pushed out of Pakistan following multiple offensives by the military on its safe havens.

"U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to". "We heard from our people that ameer saib (Mullah Fazlullah) was travelling in a auto along with four other commanders when he came under drone attack in Chaugam area of Shegal", said a TTP member on condition of anonymity.

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Also, he added, the development could also accelerate ongoing efforts to reduce diplomatic tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan's eastern Logar provincial capital of Pul-e-Alam dozens of unarmed Taliban celebrated the Eid holiday, several greeting Afghan security forces, provincial police chief spokesman Shahpur Ahmadzai said Saturday in a telephone interview.

About one week ago, the Afghan government announced a seven-day ceasefire to encourage Taliban outfit to support the national reconciliation process.

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Earlier in a statement, Director General ISPR Asif Ghafoor said terrorist incidents in Pakistan were linked to sanctuaries across Afghan border.

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The official told the Voice of America on Thursday that the strike on Wednesday targeted Fazlullah. It was under his command that TTP carried out most devastating attacks - including a 2014 school massacre that killed 132 children.

President Ashraf Ghani said on Saturday he would extend the government ceasefire beyond June 20 and on Sunday the presidential office said it would be extended by 10 days.

He has been operating in Afghanistan for years.

The United States wants Pakistan, which it accuses of harbouring Afghan Taliban commanders, to exert more influence on the group to bring it to the negotiating table.

A retired Pakistani Brigadier, Mehmood Shah, welcomed the drone killing.

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The U.S. State Department in March announced a $5 million reward for help locating Fazlullah, who has been linked to bloody attacks in Pakistan and the 2010 attempted Times Square vehicle bombing in NY.

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