USA drone strike kills Pakistan Taliban leader, say officials

There was no official confirmation from Pakistan, but a Pakistani senior security source told AFP that Fazlullah is believed to have been killed.

An American drone attack has targeted and killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban in an eastern border province of Afghanistan, military officials and local intelligence sources confirmed to VOA.

The US military said on Thursday that it carried out a strike targeting a senior militant leader in Afghanistan. She survived the attack and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her services for the cause of girls' education at a time when Taliban had established their writ in Swat and banned girls from going to schools.

"We hope this pause leads to dialogue and progress on reconciliation and a lasting end to hostilities". Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which began on the 27th day of Ramadan.

Fazlullah had directed numerous high-profile attacks against the USA and Pakistani targets since he was appointed the group's leader in 2013, including the December 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 151 people, including more than 130 children.

In March, the United States offered a $5m reward for information on Fazlullah that led to him being found.

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A member of the Pakistani Taliban told Reuters by telephone on Friday the group was trying to get word from Afghanistan, where most of the Pakistani Taliban fighters are now based.

They said they feared four other top commanders may also have been killed.

Fazlullah previously ordered the bombing and beheadings of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them in 2009.

The Pakistani Taliban is a separate group to the Afghan Taliban, which the USA has been battling since 2001 in Afghanistan. He was known as "Mullah Radio" for his fiery sermons broadcast over a radio channel.

He was blamed for many deadly attacks, including the 2014 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed almost 150 students and teachers.

The Pakistani Taliban have brought a decade-long campaign of terror to the region but most of their fighters have now fled to Afghanistan. Islamabad says the Pakistani Taliban maintain sanctuaries in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Kabul and Washington both complain that Pakistan has for years allowed Afghanistan's Taliban free movement as well as medical treatment for battlefield wounds.

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