TTP’s spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani reported killed in Afghanistan thumbnail

TTP’s spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani reported killed in Afghanistan

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Khalid Balti alias Muhammad Khorasani has been reported killed in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.

SAMAA TV and other TV channels reported his death on Monday evening citing sources.

The sources said that Khorasani had fled to Afghanistan after operation in North Waziristan’s Miran Shah where he had been operating a terrorist hideout.

He was involved in several terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Pakistani security forces had launched the operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan in 2015.

The outlawed TTP had appointed Khorasani as the group’s spokesperson in November 2014.

He succeeded Shahidullah Shahid.

The sources said that Khorasani was still involved in planning terrorist attacks against Pakistan, indicating recently that there would be more attacks.

He was part of Mufti Noor Wali group of the TTP.

Khorasani was the head of the militant group’s Umar Media wing and was the person who claimed responsibility for TTP attacks including the APS attack in Peshawar.

‘Afghan Taliban supported Pakistan’

Khorasani was also the person who on December 9 announced that TTP had ended a 30-day ceasefire and militants would resume attacks against Pakistani forces.

Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar last week told a press briefing that the talks with the TTP and the ceasefire were a confidence-building measure to go into formal negotiations “at the request of the current Afghan government.”

Defence analysts say Khorasani’s death indicated that the Afghan Taliban were supporting Pakistan.

Speaking on SAMAA TV, Khalid Lodhi said that the attack against Khorasani in Nangarhar proves that the new Afghan government can walk the talk.

By closing the door to talks with Pakistan, the TTP has chosen to tread a path that would lead it to suicide, he said.

Farooq Hameed said after the talks collapsed with the TTP, it was evident that the Afghan Taliban would support Pakistan.

IS militants on the run in Pakistan

The development comes as Pakistani officials on Monday said that a band of suspected Islamic State militants is on the run in Pakistan after escaping a police raid that killed six other members of the group on Sunday, according to AFP.

Counterterrorism police said in a statement they had stormed a hideout in the southwestern city of Quetta on Saturday and killed six militants, but “around four to five managed to escape”.

A senior police official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that “teams are now raiding different areas to arrest those who escaped”.

Among the dead was Asghar Sumalani, a junior commander in the regional chapter of Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K). He had a two million rupee ($11,400) bounty on his head.

Pakistani officials have long played down the presence of IS-K in their country.

But the group has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the slaying of 11 miners from the minority Shiite Hazara community last year.

Some of the miners were beheaded after being kidnapped from a remote coal mine in the mountainous Machh area, 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Quetta.

IS-K has deep roots in several provinces in eastern Afghanistan along the porous border with Pakistan.

The group carried out a suicide bombing at Kabul airport in August, killing scores including 13 US service members, as the Taliban retook Afghanistan.

Last week Pakistani army Major General Babar Iftikhar told reporters that “Pakistan ISIS is not very active”, in response to concerns that the threat from the group is rising.

Follow SAMAA English on FacebookTwitterInstagram and watch live on YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.