Friday, 24 November 2017

US returns the favour, ‘kills’ dreaded TTP Ahraar chief Umar Khorasani

TTP Umar Khorasani

PESHAWAR: Chief of the notorious Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Jamaat-ul-Ahraar (JuA) faction, Umar Khalid Khorasani was killed in a US drone attack in Afghanistan’s Paktia province on Tuesday, it was claimed on Thursday, just as the TTP confirmed last year’s killing of Umar Mansoor Naray, the mastermind of the Army Public School Peshawar massacre, and named his successor.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Jamaat-ul-Ahraar chief was critically injured in a drone attack.

The strike was conducted close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Paktia on Tuesday. Khorasani, being critically injured in the attack, was moved to an undisclosed location.

The commander of the banned militant group hailed from Mohmand Agency – one of the seven agencies in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – and goes by the alias Abdul Wali.

At least 31 people were killed in three drone strikes near the Pak-Afghan border in Afghanistan on Monday and Tuesday.

In July, Pakistan welcomed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decision to include Jamaat-ul-Ahraar in the list of entities subject to travel bans, arms embargos and freezing of assets.

The JuA based in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan has been involved in a series of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan and was declared a banned outfit in the country in 2016.

Since 2014, when the JuA first surfaced, it proved itself to be a lethal terrorist group, perpetrating some of the most brutal attacks in Pakistan.

The group has been involved in more than 100 terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil.

Khorasani was TTP’s Mohmand Agency chief but in September 2014, TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah ousted him after he and his associates accused the TTP leadership of deviating from the TTP ideology, leading to the formation of splinter group TTP Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.

In 2015, Umar had declared allegiance to Islamic States (IS)-Daesh, however, in 2017, Khalid had withdrawn his allegiance.

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