Afghan security personnel keep watch during a patrol after retaking control of the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province from Taliban militants, at on August 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Afghan security forces have killed one of the top Pakistani Taliban commanders along with at least 10 other militants in an area along the porous border between the two countries, militant sources say.
Sources in the militant group said on Sunday that Raees Khan, also known as Azam Khan Tariq, the fourth-highest ranking commander in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) and his associates were killed in the Laman area of Afghanistan
’s Paktika province, which is near Pakistan
’s South Waziristan region.
“I confirm the killing of Azam Tariq along with at least 10 other Pakistani Taliban in Paktika province,” AFP quoted a senior militant commander loyal to Tariq as saying.
Tariq had been working as the spokesman for former TTP chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in 2013.
The latest killing of a top Taliban commander comes as Pakistan has demanded that Kabul hand over fugitive Maulana Fazlullah, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban in the restive Swat valley, who is reportedly hiding in eastern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan and Pakistan blame each other for the Taliban violence plaguing both countries.
Both nations have accused each other of allowing militants to shelter in the border regions and launch bloody attacks that threaten regional stability.
Tensions have also risen along the Afghan-Pakistani border in recent months.
Kabul blames elements inside the Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, for supporting the Taliban militants, while Islamabad blames the Afghan government for giving refuge to militants on its side of the border.