Pakistan Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah reportedly killed in USA drone strike

US drone strike kills Pakistan Taliban leader, say officials

US drone strike kills Pakistan Taliban leader, say officials

In the meantime, military and political affairs analysts said Pakistan may have been involved in the death of Fazlullah, because of his suspected involvement in organizing attacks inside Pakistan.

"We targeted (Fazlullah) but we're not ready to call jackpot yet", a United States defense official told AFP. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss preliminary information.

He said the militant was killed in a US drone strike Thursday night in the Marawara district of the eastern province of Kunar, close to the Pakistan border.

Fazlullah assumed leadership of the Pakistani Taliban after Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a USA drone strike in 2013.

Ashraf Ghani also made a telephone call to caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk and confirmed the death of Mullah Fazlullah. The Taliban's promise of a temporary truce came on Monday.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense confirmed the news on Friday, saying that Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in the border area of Marawara district of Kunar province at around 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Fazlullah, who escaped a major counter-terror operation carried out by the Pakistani military in the northwestern Swat Valley in 2009, had since regrouped his fighters in the border region of Afghanistan, according to security officials.

A USA military spokesman, Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, said US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces continue to adhere to a unilateral, week-long cease-fire declared last week by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Washington and Kabul accuse Pakistan of harbouring Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network, which Islamabad denies.

Kunar is believed to be a stronghold of both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban. Yousafzai was gravely wounded in a 2012 shooting after her advocacy as a youth for girls' education.

She was treated for her injuries in the English city of Birmingham, where she also completed her schooling.

She has often said that Fazlullah's attempts to silence her backfired and instead he amplified her voice around the world.

Mullah Fazlullah had claimed credit for the gruesome slaughter of more than 140 pupils and staff at the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar in December 2014.

"We witnessed the brutality of the Taliban in Swat when Fazlullah and his men were present here, and we are happy to know that he has gone to hell", Idrees Khan, a member of a local elders peace committee, told the news agency. His followers introduced a brutal form of sharia law during the two-year TTP insurgency in the Swat valley, killing dancers and DVD-shop owners.

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