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‘Top Pakistani Taliban commander killed in Afghanistan’


Peshawar: One of the top Pakistani Taliban commanders along with at least 10 other militants have been killed in an operation in eastern Afghanistan, a spokesman for a powerful faction of the outfit said here today.

Azam Khan Tariq, the former spokesperson for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed reportedly in air strikes carried out by Afghan and NATO forces in Paktika province, said the spokesman for Sajna Group, which had broken away from the TTP in May 2014.

According to the spokesman, Tariq’s son and nine other militants were also killed in the operation.

However the nature of the operation was unclear.

Tariq, who had a 20 million rupee bounty on his head, was also known as Raess Khan and reportedly killed late yesterday.

Tariq worked as chief TTP spokesman from 2009 until 2013 and was a close aide to former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in 2013.

He figured in a list of TTP commanders for whom the Pakistani government offered USD 5 million in 2009.

In May 2014, the outlawed TTP split into two factions after a major group based in South Waziristan quit the TTP and accused its leadership turning the outfit into an organisation providing safety to criminals.

The other group was led by Khan Saeed Sajna, after whom the faction was named. Sajna was reported killed earlier this year in a targeted US drone strike in Afghanistan.

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