ISLAMABAD: According to Afghan officials and local sources, an unknown explosive device was used to target a vehicle carrying senior commanders of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including Omar Khalid Khorasani.
Omar Khalid Khorasani, aka Abdul Wali Mohmand, Mufti Hassan, and Hafiz Dawlat Khan allegedly were in a vehicle that was targeted in Sharki hamlet, close to Margha, in the Bermal district of Paktika province.
Without providing any further information, he said that everyone inside the car had died.
The TTP leaders were reportedly travelling in the Paktika area of Birmal “for consultation” on August 7 when their car struck a roadside mine. The sources did not provide any additional information.
Khorasani was regarded as a leader in the TTP and came from the Mohmand tribal region.
Hafiz Dawlat, a native of the Orakzai tribal region and a close Khorasani trustee, was regarded as a significant group member.
One of the TTP officials who swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the now-deceased leader of the Islamic State, was Mufti Hassan, a native of the Malakand Division. Hassan allegedly started a fight within the TTP a few years ago, according to sources.
A Rs. 10 million bounty was placed on Khorasani’s head. Dawlat and Hassan had initially enlisted with the Khorasan branch of the Islamic State, but they were eventually persuaded to return to the TTP.
According to local Afghan sources, TTP intelligence leader Abdul Rashid, alias Uqabi Bajauri, was also murdered in a landmine explosion earlier that day in Afghanistan’s Kunar region. Uqabi was a member of the Bajaur tribal region.
The TTP has not yet confirmed these targeted executions of its top leaders, which would undoubtedly jeopardise peace talks between the TTP and the Pakistani government that are being mediated by the Afghan Taliban.
The announcement comes after talks between Pakistan and the outlawed TTP came to a halt because the militant organisation would not budge from its demand to undo the merger of the former Fata province with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The TPP’s decision to lay down their weapons in the event of a peace agreement also came to a standstill.