Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near border

Pakistani Taliban leader killed in air strike in Afghanistan near border

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish confirmed the killing of Mullah Fazlullah.

Mullah Fazlullah, the notorious chief of the proscribed terrorist outfit, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a USA drone strike in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province on June 13.

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.

Ghani called Pakistan's army chief and Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to confirm Fazlullah's death, which Mulk said "underscores the importance of dealing with terrorists that threaten the security of both countries", according to a Pakistani government statement.

Pakistan's military refused to comment on the report of Fazlullah's death saying any information would have to come from Washington.

General John Nicholson, the commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan and the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission had earlier said that the United States would adhere to the ceasefire with Taliban announced by Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani.

When Ms Yousafzai publicly challenged the Taliban's stance in Swat, Fazlullah ordered the 15-year-old be killed, though she survived and went on to be awarded the Nobel peace prize.

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Fazlullah reportedly left the center around 10:45 p.m., but as soon as he entered his vehicle, a rocket fired from a USA drone struck the auto, killing Fazlullah and his guards.

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

Although Pakistani Taliban militants still unleash attacks, the group has lost control of all territory in Pakistan since its December 2014 attack on an army school that killed 132 children. If his killing is confirmed by the USA, it could possibly ease the strained ties between America and Pakistan. Sources say that as soon as Fazlullah boarded the vehicle missiles fired from an unmanned American aircraft hit them.

Fazlullah, who was killed in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province, had ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai.

As a schoolgirl, Malala became an activist who chronicled her life under the Taliban.

Her return to her hometown earlier this year seemed a particular triumph as it was also to open a school funded by a charity she established to promote girls' education globally. Lately, Washington and Islamabad had started cooperation to persuade Taliban for peace talks with Kabul.

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

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