Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence has confirmed reports via its Facebook page that TTP commander Fazlullah was gunned down by Pakistani Air Force jets in Afghanistan. The agency said intelligence sharing among organizations enabled them to take out the man who was said to have masterminded the bloody attack on a Peshawar school earlier this week. More than 100 people died in the attack, most of whom were school children.
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According to The Kashmir Monitor, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had ordered his army to arrest the TTP leader. Sources reportedly told the media outlet that the priority was first to arrest him rather than kill him.
The first reports of Fazlullah’s death came over Facebook and Twitter from Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence’s official accounts. However, we are still awaiting an official press release from the Pakistani military, and no mainstream media have reported it yet.
Fazlullah said to mastermind Peshawar attack
The Star published a profile of Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for the illegal FM radio station he ran, on which he pushed for jihad and decried education for women. The TTP commander led militants who have killed more than 100 children.
Officials report Fazlullah masterminded the Peshawar school attack on Tuesday in which 148 students and teachers were gunned down. The Taliban claimed the attacks were in retaliation for the Pakistan army’s crackdown on the terrorist organization.
According to The Kashmir Monitor, Fazlullah gave instructions to the militants who carried out the attack from a location in Afghanistan. Right after the attack, Pakistani General Sharif went to Afghanistan and negotiated for the handover of Fazlullah.
Update on Peshawar attack
Express reports that the Pakistan army has continued to pound the Taliban hard since Tuesday’s attack on the school in Peshawar. Officials said they killed 77 Taliban “monsters” in airstrikes in the northern part of Pakistan today. The Pakistani government ordered more than 20 new military operations against the Taliban after the Peshawar massacre.
A spokesperson for the Pakistani army said approximately 32 militants were killed on Thursday in an ambush in Tirah Valley. He also said 17 were killed in air strikes and ten were killed in ground fighting. The army reportedly killed another 18 militants in Khyber during a search operation.
Officials believe 16 top commanders from different parts of the Pakistan Taliban helped organize the brutal attack. They believe a 17th man, a militant named Umar Adizai, was also involved in organizing the Peshawar attack. Authorities are seeking all of the men believed to be involved in planning the bloody siege.