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APS massacre mastermind killed in US drone strike

Updated Jul 12, 2016 10:21am


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PESHAWAR: The mastermind of the Army Public School massacre, responsible for the death of 144 students and staff members, has been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan, two senior security officials claim.

Also read: Who is Taliban commander Umar Mansoor?

They told Dawn that Umar Mansour, alias Khalifa Mansour, alias Umar Naray, had been killed, along with another militant leader Qari Saifullah, in the US drone attack in the Bandar area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Saturday.

One of the officials said they had credible reports of Mansour having been killed with Saifullah, who was in charge of suicide bombers. “What we have is pretty credible.”

Security officials claim Umar Mansour eliminated along with Qari Saifullah

There was, however, some confusion over the death of Qari Saifullah. While one official said there were 90 per cent chances that he too had been killed along with Naray, another official said they were still trying to figure out whether he was there on the spot when the drone struck.

The US State Department had on May 25 designated Umar Naray a global terrorist, thus clearing the path for his inclusion in the hit-list. The State Department’s announcement came four days after a drone strike killed Afghan Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan on May 21. A security official at the time had denied there was any quid pro quo between the two countries.

There is neither any official confirmation from the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) nor any independent source corroborates Naray’s death. However, if true, his death would serve a severe blow to the TTP.

Naray, because of his violent and back-to-back major terrorist attacks, was being regarded by Pakistani security agencies as a major threat.

“The focus would now be on getting Abdul Wali, alias Omar Khalid Khurasani, and Maulvi Fazlullah, also believed to be in Afghanistan,” the officials said, adding that Pakistan had shared intelligence and coordinated with Afghanistan, and while Kabul did not deny their presence on its soil, they nonetheless cited operational issues to go after them.

Khurasani is operating in Peshawar and Mohmand and is believed to be the main character involved in extortion and targeted killings in the provincial capital and the tribal region.

Fazlullah, on the other hand, is mostly focused on his native Swat.

Umar Naray was mastermind of the Dec 16, 2014, attack on the Army Public School which had left 122 students and 22 teachers and staff dead. It was one of the worst terrorist attacks which prompted the government to declare an all-out war against terrorist outfits in the country.

The two militant commanders belonged to TTP’s Tariq Geedar group and used to operate in Peshawar and adjoining Frontier Region Peshawar and Darra Adamkhel.

Mansour had fled to Afghanistan following a military operation in Khyber tribal region and continued to operate from there. He was held responsible for the Sept 2015 attack on a Pakistan Air Force base in Peshawar’s Badaber area, which left 29 people dead. He was also behind the Jan 2016 attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in which 18 students and faculty members lost their lives.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2016


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Comments (68) Closed

Yankee Cricket Fan Jul 12, 2016 07:21am

Good riddance. Eliminate the rest of them asap.

RR_Banagalore Jul 12, 2016 07:30am

Bad terrorist. Period.

Desi Dimag Jul 12, 2016 07:31am

Great, US drones don't see any terrorist as good or bad. Terrorists deserve no sympathy.

PrakashG Jul 12, 2016 07:30am

A 'good' Drone!

Vin Jul 12, 2016 07:34am

If true very good development.

MOHAMMAD AKHATR Jul 12, 2016 07:37am

Thanks USA for killing Peshawar school terrorist.

Rehan Arshad Jul 12, 2016 07:38am

Alhamdulillah ... This is huge if it is true... Time to get the other two scumbags too... Good kill #US....

Hussain Jul 12, 2016 07:36am

Thank you USA!

Anything we can do for you?

Dinesh Jul 12, 2016 07:51am

This shows US does not discriminate between terrorist.

Ysk Jul 12, 2016 07:55am

Thanks US. Gen RS, your move?

Waseem (Canada) Jul 12, 2016 07:58am

Excellent !!! Good Job ! Eliminate every terrorist from earth.

Jawad Jul 12, 2016 08:01am

Thanks US...

Adhrish Jul 12, 2016 08:06am

Thank you USA!

ishaq khan Jul 12, 2016 08:09am

I wish this news is true I will be the happiest person on the earth

AHA Jul 12, 2016 08:15am

Is Pakistan going to welcome this or condemn......

Frank Jul 12, 2016 08:16am

All Terrorist must be eliminated.

MN Jul 12, 2016 08:15am

Thank you US.

Ayub Jul 12, 2016 08:22am

Whoever involved in the APS massacre of innocent children and staff members must be identified and put under open court trial.

Abdul Jul 12, 2016 08:23am


Hashmi Jul 12, 2016 08:26am

Great news :)

Shujaat Khan Jul 12, 2016 08:23am

Thank you USA.

Logical Jul 12, 2016 08:25am

Isn't this attack on Afghan sovereignty? Don't you want to protest at the UN?

M. Khan Jul 12, 2016 08:29am

good riddance.

imran ali Jul 12, 2016 08:41am

how we know he was mastermind..?

Shivam Jul 12, 2016 08:43am

Well done!

Khan Jul 12, 2016 08:48am

Thank you, America.

Ali Jul 12, 2016 08:51am

very good news...

Rashid Jul 12, 2016 08:52am

Good riddance

gill Jul 12, 2016 09:00am

hope for parents killers don't get away,they get it matter of time,thankful to us forces for doing a good deed.

Umar Mansour Jul 12, 2016 09:04am

The US did not distinguish between good and bad Taliban :(

Really Jul 12, 2016 09:03am

Good job!!!

Champak Jul 12, 2016 09:13am

Great one if US strikes bad terrorists... wow....

Hamza Jul 12, 2016 09:16am

Thanks God. May the rest of evils are eliminated soon.

seaman Jul 12, 2016 09:19am

I think we need to thank USA for taking out one more of our enemy.

Vipin Jul 12, 2016 09:21am

@Logical - You nailed it with your logic boss.

Daulat1 Jul 12, 2016 09:32am

Good job USA

Black Indian Jul 12, 2016 09:57am

All terrorist must be eliminated irrespective of religion, cast, creed, region.

Excellent news.

Salman Jul 12, 2016 10:04am

Great news for the nation. Please keep eliminating these terrorists

M. Ahmed Jul 12, 2016 10:22am

Excellent, I hope they get other terrorists also

sami Jul 12, 2016 10:48am

Good riddance!

Muneeb Jul 12, 2016 11:08am

I have been waiting for this. Love Live US of A.

Kamran Jul 12, 2016 11:19am

Good news if true

Tariq Sardar Jul 12, 2016 11:27am

Credit should be given to Pakistan & Afghan intelligence agencies. It shows, If they work together they can get rid of this menace.

Zak Jul 12, 2016 11:50am

@Ysk our master move, Zarb e Azb.

AKG Jul 12, 2016 12:00pm

Thank God !!! The killer of the innocent is no more !!!

Srini Jul 12, 2016 12:13pm

How come now no one is complaining about Drone strikes? every one is appreciating USA? Stop using Good and Bad terrorists tag, all terrorists are BAD, period. Thanks a ton USA

SyedChaudhryGangaDinKhan Jul 12, 2016 02:21pm

How do we know that he was APS mastermind? Any proof?

sana-1 Jul 12, 2016 03:22pm

Kill Fazullah then we will believe you...

Hassan Jul 12, 2016 03:23pm

Thank you Raheel Shareef!

Khan Jul 12, 2016 03:32pm

If it was Afghan Taliban killed in Pakistan then there would be a protest by Pak army and Pak government, stop labeling good and bad terrorists eventually they kill innocent people on both side of Durand line .

Tamilselvan Jul 12, 2016 03:34pm

Good for Pakustsni people but when India kills wanted terrorists in India why does Pakistsn make a hue and cry about it? There are no good or bad terrorists. If s person is killing innocents he should be brought to justice or eliminated, period

Iftikhar Husain Jul 12, 2016 04:13pm

Who is hiding the terrorist not Pakistan of course is Afghanistan.

TTP-Hunter Jul 12, 2016 05:11pm

Hope he is dead.. When is Indian puppet Afghan govt. and US/NATO going to target Fazlullah, Omar Khalid, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, Sajna Mehsud and all other thugs ??

Malang Jul 12, 2016 05:18pm

Please Do More USA/ Afghanistan.... Sincerely Yours Pakistan

Inzy Again Jul 12, 2016 05:23pm

We are such a confused people...instead of being thankful to the US, we demonstrate on the streets against drone attacks.

M. Siddique Jul 12, 2016 05:26pm

We wish Mullah Fazalullah is also targeted by drones.

Zakiraliabc Jul 12, 2016 05:52pm

RS. You need to target afghan Taliban now

Taimoor Khan Jul 12, 2016 07:13pm

It is certainly a great lose for Indian RAW and its Afghan front office, the NDS. Slowly and gradually Pakistan is removing these forigen sponsored terrorists from within outside its borders.

The Right Left Jul 13, 2016 02:05pm

Good he is dead, but would have been more valuable if captured alive, could tell a few things about his 'minders'..

Shahryar Shirazi Jul 13, 2016 05:06pm

Thank you America! Jul 13, 2016 07:28pm

Pakistan should thank US for drone strikes.

ADD Jul 13, 2016 07:57pm

Now no one is asking if any civilians were also killed in the attack?

pathanoo Jul 13, 2016 08:21pm

@Hussain Yeah! just speak to the truth no matter who it hurts or helps. And, Thank You.

SAEED MASOOD Jul 14, 2016 12:42am

Good news if this is true...hope Mulla Fazlullah is next...

pk Jul 14, 2016 03:12am

You live by the sword and you die by the sword. That will be fate of all terrorists who are killing innocent people.

AJ Jul 14, 2016 10:49pm

I guess no one is complaining about the use of drones on this "bad" terrorist.

Ron Jul 15, 2016 07:58am

@TTP-Hunter They are hiding next to your military base

Harit rakshas Jul 15, 2016 07:58am

@Taimoor Khan It was US who carried the drones attack get it corrected And there's no such thing like RAW operating in afghan