Taliban chief killed in U.S. air strike

Mullah Fazullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has been killed in a U.S. air strike in , an military official has said. Fazlullah was Pakistan’s most-wanted militant. He ordered the 2014 attack which killed 132 children, and the 2012 shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mullah Fazullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has been killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan, an Afghanistan military official has said.

Fazullah was killed in Kunar province on Thursday.

The U.S. military said it had carried out the Thursday strike on “a senior militant figure in the province,” but officials declined to name Fazullah as the target.

Al-Jazeera reports that Fazlullah was Pakistan’s most-wanted militant. He ordered the 2014 attack which killed 132 children, and the 2012 shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I confirm that Mullah Fazlullah, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has been killed in an joint air operation in the border area of Marawera district of Kunar province,” Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for Afghan defence ministry said.

Speaking by telephone, Pakistani Taliban member Maulvi Abdur Rasheed said on Friday the was trying to get word from Afghanistan, where most of its fighters are now based.

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

“They were staying at a house when a drone fired missiles and martyred them.”

Fazlullah emerged as an Islamist leader in the Swat Valley more than a decade ago. He gained a name for himself for fiery broadcasts, and his nickname was “Mullah Radio.”

The Pakistani Taliban are separate from the Afghan Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan for six, since 1995, years before being toppled during the U.S.-led invasion of fall 2001.

Afghani Taliban’s ideology is a combination of Pashtun identity and Islamist fundamentalism, while the Pakistani Taliban focuses exclusively on trying to impose Islamist sharia law in Pakistan.

In March, the United States offered a $5 million reward for information on Fazlullah.

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