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November 27, 2014

Fazlullah is alive but two of his commanders killed, say TTP men

 
November 27, 2014

PESHAWAR: Two out of the five Pakistan Taliban commanders killed in the US drone attack on Monday in eastern Afghanistan have now been identified.
All of them were close to Maulana Fazlullah, the head of the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who survived the drone strike. Fazlullah escaped to Afghanistan in 2009 after the Pakistan military operation in his native Swat.
It is believed that Maulana Fazlullah was the target of the CIA-operated drone as he was reportedly sighted a few days ago in the same Nazyan area in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, which borders According to Taliban sources, some of Maulana Fazlullah’s senior commanders on Wednesday made contact with their people in Kunar and Nuristan provinces and told them that their leader was alive. Earlier, reports were circulating that he may have been killed in the drone attack.
The sources said that five Taliban commanders were killed in the missile strike on their compound in the mountainous Nazyan area located close to the Pakistan border. Two of them were identified as commander Zarqavi and commander Assad Mehsud.
Taliban sources said Zarqavi belonged to the Orakzai Agency and was known as an influential figure among the militants in his native tribal region. Zarqavi seems to be his adopted name. Zarqavi was a Jordanian military commander who established a branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq before getting killed in a US military action.
Taliban sources said that the remaining four militant commanders who were slain in the drone strike belonged to the Swat district.“Though commander Assad liked to be known as Assad Mehsud, he didn’t belong to the Mehsud tribe. He belonged to Swat and was a close aide to Maulana Fazlullah,” a TTP commander said.Pleading anonymity, he said Maulana Fazlullah and his men had left the area for a safe place after the drone strike on Monday.