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Taliban deny reports of leader’s death

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Mullah Fazlullah

 

Mullah Fazlullah
Mullah Fazlullah

As unconfirmed reports of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah’s death circulated, different Taliban groups have denied that the terrorist was killed during a military operation.

TTP spokesman Mohammad Khorasani claimed that reports regarding Fazlullah’s death were “absolutely baseless rumours”, Geo News reported.

A spokesman for Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also denied the report.

Military and independent sources have also declined to confirm reports of the TTP chief’s death in an offensive in Khyber agency’s Tirah valley.

On Saturday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said at least 80 militants were killed and approximately 100 others injured in a major operation in Khyber.

News of the latest offensive was followed by widespread speculation about the presence of Fazlullah in the area at the time of the strikes.

However, there was no confirmation about his fate from the official or military sources.

The military has been engaged in a full-scale offensive against Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan and Khyber tribal districts along the Afghan border since last year.

TTP gunmen killed over 140 schoolchildren in a deadly attack at Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014.

TTP chief Fazlullah, who is also known as ‘Mullah Radio’ for his use of an illegal FM channel to spread extremist propaganda, also ordered the 2012 shooting in Swat that gravely injured schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai – last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate