Malala Yousafzai shooter dead: Taliban boss dead in USA drone strike


The United States military on Thursday targetted a chief of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) via a drone strike in Afghanistan's Kunar province near the border with Pakistan, it said of the attack, with one U.S. official saying the target was believed to be the head of the banned group.

The US military said on Thursday it carried out a strike targeting a senior militant leader in Afghanistan.

Fazlullah, also known by the alias Radio Mullah or Maulana Radio due to his long sermons on a private radio channel, and his commanders were having an Iftar party at a compound when a remotely piloted U.S. aircraft targeted them, reports said.

In 2012, Fazlullah-led Pakistani Taliban shot teenager schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in her hometown of Swat. The move follows the Afghan government own ceasefire, which started last week. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which began on the 27th day of Ramadan.

"As previously stated, the ceasefire does not include United States counter-terrorism efforts against [Daesh], Al-Qaida, and other regional and worldwide terrorist groups, or the inherent right of USA and global forces to defend ourselves if attacked", he had said.

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.

Pentagon officials declined to comment on whether the strike was successful.

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A retired Pakistani Brigadier, Mehmood Shah, welcomed the drone killing. The Pakistani Taliban have not yet confirmed the killing of their leader but a commander of TTP, a conglomerate of at least 30 Pakistani militant groups, was trying to get information from their fighters in the region.

Fazlullah emerged as an Islamist leader in the Swat Valley, northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, more than a decade ago.

Fazlullah rose to fame as "FM Mullah", broadcasting vituperative calls for jihad from his radio station.

Although Taliban extremists 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.

He is also believed to have ordered the 2012 shooting of then 15-year-old Yousafzai over her advocacy of girls' education.

They are separate from the Afghan Taliban who ruled Afghanistan for five years before being ousted in a 2001 US-led military action.

Kunar is believed to be a stronghold of both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban. Lately, Washington and Islamabad had started cooperation to persuade Taliban for peace talks with Kabul.