TTP leader Khalid Khorasani reportedly killed in Afghanistan blast
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Sources in TTP have confirmed the news of the death of its three commanders.
The Gandhara news agency quoting sources reported that one of the commanders was Abdul Wali alias Omar Khalid Khorasani, who was considered to have been one of the most influential and ruthless TTP leaders. The other two were identified as Hafiz Dawlat and Mufti Hassan.
The men were traveling in the Birmal district of the Afghan province of Paktika when their car hit a roadside mine on the evening of August 7, the sources told RFE/RL Radio Mashaal, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The three commanders were said to be based in Afghanistan's Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. They were traveling to Birmal “for consultation,” the sources said, without providing any further details.
The news comes at a time when Pakistani authorities are in contact with the militant group’s leadership to discuss a peace agreement. A truce has already been in place between the TTP and the Pakistani military for the past two months.
Khorasani belonged to Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal district and was said to in charge of the Mohmand branch of the Pakistani Taliban.
Khorasani carried a bounty of Rs10 million on his head. Dawlat and Hassan had joined the Khorasan franchise of Islamic State when it was set up, but they were later wooed back into the TTP’s folds.
Deputy director at AsiaProgram at TheWilsonCenter and writer of ForeignPolicy Michael Kugelman tweeted late last night: “Omar Khalid Khorasani, a top TTP leader, has reportedly been killed in Afghanistan. Huge blow to TTP, if true (he’s been wrongly reported dead in the past). Major figure within the group. Brutal beyond words. And incidentally he once claimed to have sheltered Ayman Al-Zawahiri.”
Omar Khalid Khorasani, a top TTP leader, has reportedly been killed in Afghanistan. Huge blow to TTP, if true (he’s been wrongly reported dead in the past). Major figure within the group. Brutal beyond words. And incidentally he once claimed to have sheltered Ayman Al-Zawahiri.— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) August 7, 2022
Reporter Gohar Mehsud