TTP denies Fazlullah killed in clash with Afghan Taliban: report

Published October 10, 2013
Mullah Fazlullah. — File photo
Mullah Fazlullah. — File photo

The Pakistani Taliban have denied that the leader of their Swat faction was killed in a clash with the Afghan Taliban earlier this week, says a report published Thursday.

According to the report by the BBC, at least three Swat Taliban commanders were killed during the clash in the northeastern Kunar province of Afghanistan two days earlier.

The report said some sources also alleged that Swat Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, who is blamed by Pakistan for mounting attacks against the Army from across the border, was killed in the attack.

The Pakistani Taliban, however, denied this claim.

Eye-witnesses claim that two days earlier, dozens of heavily armed Afghan Taliban attacked Pakistani militant bases in Ghaziabad located in the Kunar province of Afghanistan adjacent to the Pak-Afghan border. Subsequently, three TTP commanders were killed in the attack.

The deceased Talibans were said to belong to the Swat faction of the proscribed Tehrik-i-Taliban organisation.

Taliban sources confirmed that a clash occurred between the two armed militant groups, but said no Swat Taliban commander or fighter had been killed. The sources moreover strongly denied that Fazlullah was injured or killed in the clash.

Earlier, the Swat chapter of the TTP group released a video claiming responsibility for the killing on Sept 15 of a major general, a lieutenant colonel and an army soldier. The two officers and the soldier lost their lives when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Upper Dir. The video moreover showed Fazlullah rejoicing over their success in carrying out the attack

Mullah Fazlullah, 39, had unleashed a reign of terror in Swat before he lost control of the area following a military operation. He fled to Afghanistan and is believed to operate primarily from that country’s Kunar and Nuristan provinces, from where his men attack Pakistani forces.

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