KABUL - The Afghan Defense Ministry on Friday afternoon confirmed that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a drone strike on Wednesday in Kunar Province.
Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told TOLOnews that the strike happened at about 2:30am local time.
“Fazlullah along with his men were killed at about 2:30am local time in Marawayra district along the Durand Line in Kunar province in a drone strike,” Radmanish said.
Earlier Friday reliable sources told TOLOnews that Fazlullah had been killed in Kunar Province in Afghanistan.
This is not however the first time reports have emerged of the death of Fazlullah after the elusive chief of the banned group was named TTP chief in late 2013. He succeeded Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a drone strike in November of that year.
US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Martin O’Donnell meanwhile confirmed the US Forces conducted a counterterrorism strike on Wednesday in Kunar province and that a senior leader of a terrorist organization had been targeted.
However, he did not reveal the identity of the target or the name of the group. He also stated that US-Forces were adhering to government’s ceasefire with the Taliban but that the ceasefire does not include counterterrorism efforts against Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
"US forces conducted a counterterrorism strike, June 13, in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization,” he told TOLOnews.
“US Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's unilateral cease-fire with the Afghan Taliban, announced by H.E. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which began on the twenty-seventh day of Ramadan.
“As previously stated, the cease-fire does not include US counterterrorism efforts against IS-K (Daesh), Al-Qaeda, and other regional and international terrorist groups, or the inherent right of US and international forces to defend ourselves if attacked. We hope this pause leads to dialogue and progress on reconciliation and a lasting end to hostilities," he said.
In the meantime, military and political affairs analysts said Pakistan may have been involved in the death of Fazlullah, because of his suspected involvement in organizing attacks inside Pakistan.