Abdul Wali, also known as Omar Khalid Khorasani, is accused of being behind some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan in recent years.
Several Pakistani officials and the group said a late-night roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan hit a vehicle carrying members of the Pakistani Taliban, killing a senior leader and three other members. of the group.
Abdul Wali, also known as Omar Khalid Khorasani, is the top commander of the Pakistani Taliban and is accused of being behind some of the bloodiest attacks in recent years.
According to Pakistani officials and unnamed TTP members, Wali’s vehicle was hit Sunday night by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, along the border with Pakistan.
The three other men killed included his driver and two of his close aides, they said.
Wali’s death deals a major blow to the armed group, officially known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and comes a week after an American drone strike in Kabul killed it. al-Qaeda leader. Ayman al-Zawahiri.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday night’s killing of Wali, who was on the State Department’s most wanted list and received a reward of up to $3 million for information on his whereabouts. him.
The Pakistani Taliban on Monday confirmed the killing and blamed it on Pakistani intelligence agents without giving evidence or details.
A longer statement from TTP is expected late Monday.
Wali is believed to be close to al-Qaeda’s founding leaders Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri but it is not immediately known whether there is a link between the August 1 drone attack and the Sunday night bombing or not.
In 2014, Wali broke away from the TTP and formed his own group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which carried out some of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan, including a bombing in the eastern city of Lahore in 2016. killing at least 75 people. minority Christian community on Easter Sunday.
The group also claimed responsibility for killing two Pakistani employees of the US Consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar in March 2016.
Khorasani later dissolved Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and rejoined the TTP in the group’s attempt to unify some of the estranged groups.
The US State Department describes him as a former journalist and poet who attended several religious schools in Pakistan.
There has been a fragile truce between Islamabad and the TTP over the past two months as peace talks brokered by the Afghan Taliban’s Haqqani network take place.
The TTP has waged armed attacks in Pakistan over the past 14 years, fighting for stricter enforcement of Islamic law in the country, the release of its members under government arrest, and the reduction of its members. Pakistani military presence in tribal-dominated areas of the country. .
According to official estimates, the group has killed nearly 80,000 Pakistanis in nearly two decades of violence.
Islamabad has asked the new Taliban rulers to prevent armed groups from using Afghan territory for attacks inside Pakistan.
Before the Taliban took over Afghanistan, Islamabad and Kabul often blamed each other and accused each other of serving as shelters for armed groups.
Pakistan says it has completed construction of more than 93% of the fence along its border with Afghanistan to prevent cross-border attacks.