A top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander, with a USD 3 million American bounties on his head, has been reportedly killed in an explosion in eastern Afghanistan.
Omar Khalid Khorasani, a former journalist and poet, who studied at several madrasas in Pakistan’s Karachi was killed in a vehicle carrying senior TTP commanders, with a mysterious explosive device.
A vehicle with Khalid Khorasani, aka Abdul Wali Mohmand, and other TTP leaders, was targeted in Bermal district of Paktika province, The Express Tribune newspaper reported, citing Afghan officials and local sources.
Citing anonymous sources, the Pakistani publication said the TTP leaders were travelling in the Birmal district of Paktika “for consultation” when their vehicle hit a roadside mine on August 7.
The US government has a reward of up to USD 3 million for information on Abdul Wali Mohmand. “Wali is the leader of Jamaat ul-Ahrar (JuA), a militant faction affiliated with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Under Wali’s leadership, JuA has been one of the most operationally active TTP networks in Punjab Province, Pakistan and has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks throughout Pakistan,” said Rewards for Justice (RFJ), US Department of State’s premier national security rewards programme.
“Wali reportedly operates from Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Kunar Provinces. Wali was born in Mohmand Agency, Pakistan. He is a former journalist and poet and studied at several madrasas in Karachi, Pakistan,” RFJ added.
Earlier today, another top TTP leader Abdul Rashid, who belonged to Bajaur tribal district, was also killed in a landmine blast in Kunar province.
The ongoing peace talks between the TTP and Pakistan government reached a stalemate as the outlawed group refused to give in on its demand for the reversal of the merger of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Despite a series of meetings between the two sides in recent weeks to break the impasse, there has also been a stalemate over the issue of TTP laying down arms in case of a peace deal, The Express Tribune reported.
Talks between the two sides began in October 2021 to seek a political solution to the issue. The talks that were held at the request of the Afghan Taliban led to a one-month ceasefire in November.
However, the truce could not last long as differences emerged soon. The report said that TTP has yet to confirm the targeted killings of its top commanders. This would reportedly undermine the Afghan Taliban-brokered peace talks between the Pakistan government and the outlawed group.