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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Pakistan Militant Leader In Afghanistan, Group Says

Omar Khalid Khorasani, center, a top Pakistan Taliban commander, gives an interview in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal region in 2011.

A militant leader blamed for several deadly bombings in Pakistan has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the extremist group has confirmed.

Asad Mansoor, a spokesman for the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) militant group, on October 19 told the Reuters news agency by telephone that the leader, Omar Khalid Khorasani, died earlier in the day.

"Our leader…was wounded in one of the recent drone strikes in Afghanistan. He was wounded badly, and today he was martyred," the spokesman said.

Eight other senior commanders of JuA were also reportedly killed in the drone strike on Khorasani.

The Pentagon has not yet officially commented on the report.

Khorasani was an alleged organizer of a December 2014 terrorist attack on a Peshawar school that killed 147 people, most of them children.

The JuA, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, also claimed responsibility for the 2016 bombing on Easter Sunday that killed 70 people, many of them Christians, in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

The JuA split from the Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) militant group in 2014 and the faction voiced support for the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The split came when Khorasani and his associates in Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal region publicly accused the TTP leader in Pakistan's Swat Valley, Maulana Fazlulah, of deviating from the TTP’s strict Islamic fundamentalist ideology.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Samaa TV, Pakistan Today, Dawn, and VOA

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