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Jamaatul Ahrar confirms death of commander in Khyber airstrikes

November 10, 2014

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This picture shows a Pakistan army gun-ship helicopter. — INP/File
This picture shows a Pakistan army gun-ship helicopter. — INP/File

PESHAWAR: The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Jamaatul Ahrar has confirmed on Monday that their key commander Abu Jandal was killed during the Nov 9 bombing in Khyber Agency's Tirah Valley.

The TTP Jamaatul Ahrar spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed to Dawn that Abu Jandal hailing from Mohmand Agency was leading a contingent of 50 fighters to battle the Pakistani security forces with others in Tirah.

Ehsan said that a contingent of about 50 more fighters would soon be on their way to the valley to fight along with others against the country's armed forces.

He also said that Khyber Agency is a key route for Nato supplies and would be their prime target in the days to come to inflict loss on the Pakistani military and state.

Read | Security forces kill 27 militants, destroy 10 hideouts in Khyber Agency: ISPR

At least 13 militants were killed in security forces' latest offensive in Akakhel on Sunday which included among the dead two suicide bombers and a key commander.

Ten militants hideouts and an ammunition depot were also destroyed in the offensive, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Khyber is among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and foreign militants. These are also home to religious extremist organisations including the Al Qaeda.

Pakistan's military launched the operation ‘Khyber-1’ last month with air strikes against Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) hideouts in areas under the Mangal Bagh-led group’s control in Tirah and Bara.

The latest operation was launched amidst Zarb-i-Azb, a full-fledged military operation being conducted by the army against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.