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USA military targets senior militant in Afghanistan

USA military targets senior militant in Afghanistan

The strike that killed Fazlullah comes amid a ceasefire between the Afghan Taliban and government security forces to mark the end of the holy month of Ramzan.

Fazlullah and two other insurgents were killed on Thursday morning in north-eastern Kunar province, Mohammad Radmanish said.

The Afghan Taliban said their three-day Eid ceasefire, which ends on Sunday, proved the unity of their movement and its "wide national support" as the presidential palace extended its own ceasefire with the militants by 10 days.

Ms Yousafzai survived the assassination attempt in 2012.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell said American forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike close to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that targeted a "senior leader of a designated terrorist organization".

However, the Associated Press reported, Sakhi Mashwani, a lawmaker from Konar province, said five other insurgents were killed.

He was best known for directing the shooting of Yousafzai, an outspoken activist for girls' education, as she sat on a school bus in Swat in 2012, when she was 15.

Fazlullah, also known by the alias Radio Mullah or Maulana Radio due to his long sermons on a private radio channel, and his commanders were having an Iftar party at a compound when a remotely piloted United States aircraft targeted them, reports said.

About one week ago, the Afghan government announced a seven-day ceasefire to encourage Taliban outfit to support the national reconciliation process.

Fazlullah became the leader of TTP, the terrorist group operating across the border with Pakistan, in 2013.

A statement from US Forces-Afghanistan claimed that the strike did not put at risk an ongoing, unilateral ceasefire initiated by the Afghan government.

TTP accused the Afghan intelligence service NDS, which has always been suspected by Pakistan of harbouring Fazlullah, of providing information for the drone attack.

The TTP in December 2014, carried out the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan's history when militants killed 151 people including more than 130 children, during an attack against the Army Public School in Peshawar.

In January, US President Donald Trump cut more than $1.1bn in military assistance to Pakistan over allegations that it was providing safe haven to members of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network.

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.

A vehicle bomb killed 36 people at a gathering of Taliban and Afghan armed forces in the eastern city of Nangarhar on Saturday.