WASHINGTON: The US media reports citing military sources, claimed Thursday that in a drone attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, Pakistani Taliban chief Mulla Fazlullah has been targeted.
Pakistani Taliban chief Mulla Fazlullah is believed to be hiding in Afghainstan’s Kunar province.
“US forces conducted a counterterrorism strike, June 13, in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization,” Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell said in a statement.
It added that US forces were continuing to “adhere to a ceasefire” which Kabul has entered into with the Afghan Taliban, the country’s main insurgents, seemingly ruling out that group, amid US media reports the attack had targeted Fazlullah.
The Voice of America radio reported that a US military official confirmed to its correspondents that a US drone strike had “targeted the TTP leader in an Afghan province near the border with Pakistan”.
The official US radio also quoted unconfirmed reports from the target area as claiming that Mullah Fazlullah had been killed.
A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the strike was carried out late Wednesday and the TTP chief was its target but he also said that he could not confirm if he was killed.
Pentagon officials, when asked to comment on the VoA report, said they were not yet in a position to confirm if decline if the strike was successful.
The US State Department in March announced a $5 million reward for help locating the militant leader, who has been linked to bloody attacks in Pakistan and the 2010 attempted Times Square car bombing in New York.
It said the group, also known Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) has “demonstrated a close alliance with Al-Qaeda” and said it had given explosives training to Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber.
The group was behind the massacre of more than 150 people at a Peshawar school in December 2014, and nine dead in another attack in December 2017 in the same city.
It was also responsible for the October 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who became a global symbol of the fight for girls’ rights to schooling.
According to Pakistani officials, Fazlullah, who is believed to be in his forties, took refuge in Afghanistan after the TTP was pushed out of Pakistan following multiple offensives by the military on its safe havens.
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