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TTP’s key commander killed in Kunar drone strike

The Afghan government has confirmed the death of Umar Rahman Fateh, a leading commander of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a US drone strike in Afghanistan.

According to reports, Umar Rahman along with others were targeted by a US drone in Afghanistan’s Kunar province on Tuesday morning. So far neither the TTP nor Pakistan have confirmed the killing of Rahman.

In a period of less than a month, Umar Rahman is the second top TTP commander eliminated by US drone across the border in Afghanistan. On the night between June 13 and 14, a US drone targeted the convoy of TTP chief Mullah Fazalullah in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, killing him and four other senior commanders of the proscribed outfit.

Soon after Fazlullah’s killing, Umar Rahman alias Fateh was declared as his successor. However, he was later replaced by Noor Wali Mehsud as permanent chief of the banned group. After a period of around five years, Mehsud militants have gained leadership role in the TTP. Hakimullah Mehsud was the last TTP chief till his assassination in a US drone attack on November 1, 2013.

Umar Rahman is part of a long list of TTP leaders that have been killed in US drone strikes. Former leader Baitullah Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud, Said Khan Sajna, Mufti Waliur Rahman, Qari Hussain, Azam Tariq, Shahidullah Shahid were all slain in US drone attacks. Furthermore, a large number of al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) Ittehad Islami Jehad militants have also been assassinated in US strikes.

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