Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah killed in United States drone strike

Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah killed in United States drone strike”

Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in a US-Afghan air strike in Afghanistan, a senior Afghan Defence Ministry official said on Friday, a killing likely to ease tension between the United States and Pakistan.

The Afghan government announced a ceasefire in the region this week and Mr O'Donnell said: "US Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to Afghanistan's unilateral ceasefire with the Afghan Taliban".

The U.S. also said Fazlullah ordered the 2012 attempt to assassinate Malala Yousafzai, who had been advocating for the right of girls to have access to an education.

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan only said the military conducted a "counterterrorism strike" along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan targeting "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization", according to a statement from spokesman Lt. Col Martin O'Donnell.

Fazlullah, who has been designated as a global terrorist by the United States and carried a bounty of United States dollars 5 million, had been on the run since his loyalists were routed in a major military operation in Pakistan's Swat district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in 2009.

Pentagon officials say a US drone has targeted the leader of the Pakistani Taliban in an Afghan province near the border with Pakistan, and security sources as well as an Afghan official say he was killed.

Afghan officials and militant figures on Friday were investigating reports that the leader of the Pakistani Taliban may have been killed in a U.S. airstrike inside Afghanistan, but his fate remained unclear. A USA official told the news agency the target was believed to be Fazlullah.

Pakistan has always been accused of supporting the Afghan Taliban and providing safe haven to its leaders - charges Islamabad denies.

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

They were once more closely linked, but for years have had separate leadership structures.

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 prominence through radio broadcasts in Swat demanding the imposition of Islamic law, earning him the nickname "Mullah Radio".

This includes the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, which killed 151 people.

In 2012 TTP tried to assassinate Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, then an 11-year-old who promoted girls' right to education.

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