TTP Commander Killed In Afghan Bombing

Islamabad:  The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Monday confirmed that one of its top commander, who was behind some of deadliest attacks in recent years, was killed in a bombing in Afghanistan.

Abdul Wali Mohmand, also known under the alias Omar Khalid Khorasani, was on the US State Department’s wanted list and was offering a reward of up to $3 million for information on his whereabouts, reports dpa news agency.

According to the TTP, Khorasani’s vehicle was targeted by a roadside bomb on Sunday in the Afghan province of Paktika, on the border with Pakistan.

At least two other commanders were also killed in the bombing which came exactly a week after a US drone strike in Kabul had killed Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Khorasani is thought to have been close to Al Qaeda’s founding leader Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, but it wasn’t immediately known if there was any link between the drone strike and the bombing.

At one point, he broke away from TTP and formed his own group, Jamaat ul Ahrar.

His group carried out some of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan, including a bombing in the eastern city of Lahore in 2016 that killed at least 75 people from the minority Christian community on an Easter Sunday.

Khorasani later dissolved Jamaat ul Ahrar and rejoined the TTP in a group’s drive to reunify several estranged groups.

The US State Department described him as a former journalist and poet who studied at several madrasas in Pakistan.

There has been a fragile truce holding between Islamabad and the TTP for the past two months as peace talks brokered by the Afghan Taliban’s Haqqani network take place.

The TTP has killed nearly 80,000 Pakistanis in almost two decades of violence.

(IANS)