A US drone strike killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan's eastern Konar province, Afghan officials said Friday, eliminating a notorious insurgent commander who had ordered attacks on schoolchildren in Pakistan, including future Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai. He said the airstrike was carried out at about 9 a.m. on Thursday.
The spokesman for the United States military in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, confirmed that the military had carried out a drone strike on Wednesday in Kunar.
The U.S. also said Fazlullah ordered the 2012 attempt to assassinate Malala Yousafzai, who had been advocating for the right of girls to have access to an education.
Nicholson said the United States would adhere to the unilateral cease-fire announced by Ghani, which did not apply to USA counterterrorism attacks on other terror groups.
There was no official confirmation from Pakistan, but a Pakistani senior security source told AFP that Fazlullah is believed to have been killed.
This is the first ceasefire the Taliban has announced since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
The Pakistani Taliban is a separate group to the Afghan Taliban, which the US has been battling since 2001 in Afghanistan.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks during an interview with Reuters at a local hotel in Islamabad on March 30.
President Ghani also informed the PM about positive developments following the recent ceasefire announcement which would help pave the way for the Afghan peace process to consolidate.
Fazlullah had been a major figure in the TTP even before he became emir in late 2013, and led a Pakistan Taliban militia in the country's Swat Valley prior to his elevation to leadership of the group.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials said on Friday that Fazlullah was targeted in Thursday's strike in Kunar.
A retired Pakistani Brigadier, Mehmood Shah, welcomed the drone killing.
In 2006, while in Sawat, he began delivering fiery sermons on his own FM radio, earning the nickname "Mullah Radio", railing against polio vaccination and girls' education.
He has in the past been blamed for attacks such as the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 151 people, including more than 130 children.
He said: "This attack shows that there is now an inclination in U.S. policy towards Pakistan, which could further improve the security situation". Lately, Washington and Islamabad had started cooperation to persuade Taliban for peace talks with Kabul.
She became a global symbol for human rights after a gunman boarded her school van on October 9, 2012, asked "Who is Malala?" and shot her.
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