Top Pakistani Taliban Commander reported killed in Afghanistan by Afghan Security Forces


 The top Pakistani Taliban commanders along with at least 10 other militants killed by Afghan Security Forces in a border area operation On Sunday, according to the sources.

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Raeas Khan, also known as Azam Khan Tariq, was the spokesperson and the fourth-highest ranking commander in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was killed reportedly in air strikes carried out by Afghan and NATO forces in Paktika province. He had a 20 million rupee ($190,740) bounty on his head.

"I confirm the killing of Azam Tariq along with at least 10 other Pakistani Taliban in Paktika province," a senior commander loyal to Tariq told the media, requesting anonymity.

Tariq worked as chief TTP spokesman from 2009 until 2013 and was a close aide to former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in 2013.

In 2009 the Pakistani government offered $5 million for information leading to the capture of TTP commanders.

Tariq was top of the list as three other commanders had been killed — either in US drone strikes or in Pakistani military operations.

He had been working as spokesman for the Mehsud faction of the TTP prior to his death.

The nature of the operation was unclear, but three sources in the militant group said Tariq and his associates were killed in the Laman area of the Afghan province, which is near Pakistan's South Waziristan region.

In Pakistan, the army has conducted large-scale operations to root out militants from the tribal areas since 2014.

But Kabul has accused Islamabad of targeting only Pakistani Taliban fighters, who are fighting to overthrow the Pakistani government, and giving free rein to other militant groups fighting Afghan and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

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