Kabul confirms TTP chief Fazlullah’s death

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The Associated Press reported, however, that Sakhi Mashwani, a lawmaker from Konar province, said Fazlullah and five other insurgents were killed when the USA drone strike hit a vehicle in which they were riding.

Pakistan Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed during a U.S. drone strike that took place in north-eastern Kunar, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.

Pakistan, however, denies the charge, and itself accuses the USA of turning a blind eye to militants who attack Pakistani forces and civilians from Afghan soil. She survived a serious head wound and went on to become the youngest Nobel peace laureate in 2014.

In March, the US State Department had announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest or capture of Fazlullah.

A member of the Pakistani Taliban told Reuters by telephone on Friday the group was trying to get word from Afghanistan, where most of the Pakistani Taliban fighters are now based.

His insurgent group, the Tehrik-e-Taliban, also took responsibility for the brutal attack on an Army Public School in Pakistan's north-western city of Peshawar in December 2014, when more than 140 children and their teachers were slaughtered.

In 2012, Fazlullah-led Pakistani Taliban shot teenager schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in her hometown of Swat.

The TTP, however, did not confirm the death of its chief in the drone strike.

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While violence has dropped in recent years, the TTP and its affiliates continue to carry out sporadic large-scale attacks targeting Pakistani security forces and civilians.

The US official, however, did not specify whether Fazlullah was the target.

The Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson, Mohammad Radmanish, told CNN that Mullah Fazlullah, who led the TTP from 2013, was killed in the USA strike on June 13.

"We have been hearing since early Friday that our Emir was martyred along with four other militant commanders in Marawar area of Kunar".

Pakistan has often asked United States and Afghan forces to take action against TTP men living on the Afghan side of the volatile Pakistan-Afghanistan border, where they fled following a series of military operations by Pakistan. Islamabad says the Pakistani Taliban maintain sanctuaries in Afghanistan. "Fazlullah was living in an area in Kunar province which is not under government control", Saleh Mohammad Registani, a military affairs analyst said.

In a statement released by the TTP, the group acknowledged its leader had been killed.

"The killing of Fazlullah is a positive development", the military's media wing, the ISPR, said in a statement in which it also confirmed that President Ghani called army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

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

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