KABUL – President Ashraf Ghani confirmed Friday that Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah has been killed in a U.S. drone strike. Fazlullah is believed to have ordered the failed 2012 assassination of Malala Yousafzai, who became a global symbol of the fight for girls' rights to schooling, and who later won the Nobel Peace Prize. U.S. forces targeted Fazlullah in a counterterrorism strike Thursday in eastern Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. officials said, without confirming his death. "I spoke with Prime Minister of #Pakistan Nasir ul Mulk and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and confirmed the death of Mullah Fazlullah," Ghani tweeted, adding: "His death is the result of tireless human intel led by #Afghan security agencies." Ghani added the Pakistani leaders had assured him the strike was "a great step toward building trust between the two nations," while urging them to "bring (the) Afghan Taliban residing in Pakistan to the negotiation table."
In scenes that would have seemed impossible a few days ago, members of the Afghan Taliban have been pictured embracing Afghan security forces amid a three-day ceasefire called to mark Eid. Militants also met Interior Minister Wais Barmak in the capital Kabul. President Ashraf Ghani has extended the government's ceasefire and called on the Taliban to do the same. However 20 people died in a suicide attack on one gathering of Taliban and government officials in Nangarhar. Taliban members and local residents were among the victims of the attack, carried out by a suicide attacker on foot, Nangarhar province spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told the BBC.
Nov. 7, 2013: Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah is seen on television at a coffee shop in Islamabad. The Pakistani Taliban leader known for beheading police officers and even ordering the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has been killed by a U.S. drone strike, Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says. Mohammad Radmanish told the Associated Press on Friday that Mullah Fazlullah, the ruthless insurgent leader, died along with two other terrorists a day earlier in the Marawara district along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. A statement attributed to U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col Martin O'Donnell said an American "counterterrorism strike" was carried out in the region targeting "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization," but did not say whether it had killed anyone. Fazlullah previously ordered the bombing and beheadings of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them in 2009.
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – Pakistani Taliban militants chose a religious scholar as their new chief in place of Mullah Fazlullah, the insurgent leader who ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and was killed earlier this month in a U.S. drone strike. Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said Saturday that the executive council of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan appointed Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud as its new chief and Mufti Mazhim, aka Mufti Hafzullah, as his deputy. Khurasani conceded for the first time that Mullah Fazlullah was killed in the drone attack in Afghanistan's Kunar province. He did not say when and where the TTP executive council met to choose the new leader. A ruthless leader, Fazlullah ordered the beheading of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them out in 2009.
Mullah Fazlullah, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader, accused of shooting activist Malala Yousafzai was killed by a United States drone strike June 13 close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a U.S. military official confirmed to Voice of America. "U.S. forces conducted a counterterrorism strike June 13 in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization," army Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said. He was reportedly traveling in a vehicle with four other commanders when the strike took place, Pakistani daily the Express Tribune reported. "A US drone strike in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province has killed the leader of the TTP," Mohammad Radmanish, Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense spokesperson, told CNN. "US Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's unilateral ceasefire with the Afghan Taliban, announced by ... Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which began on the 27th day of Ramadan," a statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said claiming the strike did not put the ceasefire order by President Ashraf Ghani into risk, CNN reported. "As previously stated, the ceasefire does not include US counterterrorism efforts against IS-K, al Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups, or the inherent right of US and international forces to defend ourselves if attacked," the statement added.