Taliban Chief Who Ordered Malala's Assassination Killed

The leader of the Pakistani Taliban was killed by a US drone strike, an Afghan official said Friday.

"I confirm that Mullah Fazlullah, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has been killed in a joint air operation with the U.S. in the border area of Marawara district of Kunar province", Mohammad Radmanish, spokesperson for the Afghanistan defence ministry, told the media.

He said the militant was killed in a USA drone strike Thursday night in the Marawara district of the eastern province of Kunar, close to the Pakistan border.

The statement did not name Fazlullah, but added that U.S. forces were continuing to "adhere to a ceasefire" which Kabul has entered into with the Afghan Taliban, the country's main insurgents, seemingly ruling out any targets from that group.

November 7, 2013: Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah is seen on television at a coffee shop in Islamabad.

"Most of our people are seriously concerned ‎after they heard about the killing of our leader, but the top leadership is out of access", Pakistani Taliban commander Maulvi Obaidur Rahman told NBC News.

Fazlullah's men shot the schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan in 2012.

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman did not reply to requests for comment on Friday, nor did the official military spokesman.

Afghanistan's defence ministry spokesman said that Fazlullah was among the dead.

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Fazlullah's death could ease strained ties between Islamabad and Washington even as Afghanistan observes an unprecedented three-day ceasefire with the larger Afghan Taliban. On Friday, the Afghan Taliban began its first ceasefire in 17 years to coincide with Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

"U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to".

A retired Pakistani Brigadier, Mehmood Shah, welcomed the drone killing.

Mullah Radio was designated a global terrorist by the United States and carried a bounty of $5 million.

Fazlullah previously ordered the bombing and beheadings of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them in 2009. He was known as Mullah Radio for his fiery broadcasts.

He was blamed for many deadly attacks, including the 2014 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed almost 150 students and teachers.

Still, the recent cease-fire announcement by Afghanistan's Taliban is being at least partially credited to Pakistan, which some observers say has been pressing the leadership to accept President Ghani's recent peace overtures.

Washington and Kabul accuse Pakistan of harbouring Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network, which Islamabad denies.

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