TTP leader escapes drone strike in Afghanistan

Published December 18, 2021
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad. — Photo via Twitter/File
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad. — Photo via Twitter/File

PESHAWAR: A top leader of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) escaped unhurt from a suspected drone strike on a safe house in eastern Afghanistan, the militant group said on Friday.

The strike on Thursday evening came a week after a ceasefire between the banned TTP and the government collapsed, with militants accusing Islamabad of killing its fighters.

Two TTP sources currently in Afghanistan told AFP that Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was the target of what they described as a drone strike on a compound in Chawgam village, in the eastern province of Kunar bordering Pakistan.

“Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was not present at the time... two fighters of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan were wounded,” one source said.

The compound was being used as a base by TTP fighters from Pakistan crossing the porous border with Afghanistan, he said.

Faqir Mohammad was arrested by the previous US-backed Kabul government and spent years in Afghanistan’s notorious Bagram prison, but was released after the Taliban’s lightning takeover of the country in August.

It was not clear who was responsible for Thursday’s attack.

Bilal Karimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, told AFP from Kabul that the strike was an explosive fired from the ground.

The TTP emerged 14 years ago and has been blamed for around 70,000 killings by successive Pakistani governments.

Thursday marked the seventh anniversary of the TTP massacre of nearly 150 schoolchildren in Peshawar.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2021

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