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Top Pakistani Taliban leader killed in Afghanistan

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — One of the top leaders of the Pakistani Taliban’s parent organization Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been killed in Afghanistan, the group confirmed late last night.

TTP militant spokesman Mohammad Khurasani spokesman said the former deputy head of the group’s central committee, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, along with another commander, Qari Saif Peshawari, were killed on January 31 during a clash with forces in Afghanistan.

Khurasani did not reveal details about the clash, but said he was on the road to carry out an attack when Afghan forces blocked his path and killed him.

Founded in 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud, TTP now stands in four groups, Swat, Mehsud, Bajaur Agency and Darra Adamkhel.

Analysts said the Haqqani assassination was a major blow to the TTP, as it was leading their own religious section, using the Taliban for propaganda.

“Haqqani was known as the group’s senior religious cleric, who also issued a decree against journalists in 2014 declaring them a ‘party’ to the conflict in the country,” Saboor Khattak told AA, a senior journalist with center in Peshawar city.

“The TTP has already been divided into several groups and Haqqani was an important leader of the Mehsud group,” Khattak added.

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