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He Wanted Malala Dead, Is Now Dead Himself

Afghan official says US drone strike killed Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 15, 2018 8:02 AM CDT
In this Nov. 7, 2013 file photo, people watch a news report on TV about newly selected leader of Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah at a coffee shop in Islamabad, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash, File)
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(Newser) – A US drone strike in northeastern Kunar province killed Pakistan Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, the insurgent leader who ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said Friday. In a telephone interview, Mohammad Radmanish said Fazlullah and two other insurgents were killed early Thursday morning, reports the AP. According to a statement attributed to US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col Martin O'Donnell, the US carried out a "counterterrorism strike" Thursday in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan targeting "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization." The statement did not say whether the strike had killed anyone and did not identify Fazlullah as the target.

Yousafzai survived the assassination attempt in 2012. Fazlullah had ordered her killing for promoting girls' education. Yousafzai returned to her hometown earlier this year, opening a school funded by a charity she established to promote girls education globally. She has often said that Fazlullah's attempts to silence her backfired and instead he amplified her voice around the world. A ruthless leader, Fazlullah 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. His insurgent group, the Tehrik-e-Taliban, also took responsibility for the brutal attack on an Army Public School in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014 when more than 140 children and their teachers were slaughtered.

(Read more Malala Yousafzai stories.)

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