Outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson and the militant group’s most wanted commander Khalid Batli alias Mohammad Khurasani was killed in the eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan, defence sources said on Monday.
Khurasani, the senior TTP commander, was involved in the killing of civilians and personnel of security forces in Pakistan. He was killed in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, defence sources said, without disclosing the details.
A senior security official confirmed Khurasani’s death but refused to share details about the circumstances around the high-profile killing.
Khurasani, around 50, belonged to the Gilgit-Baltistan region and joined the extremist ranks in the Swat area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province around 2007. He became close to the militant leader Mullah Fazlullah who later became chief of the TTP, according to the security official.
He was appointed spokesperson of the TTP in 2014 and since then played a key role in the militants’ propaganda campaign.
Security sources said that he recently became active to unite various militant factions under the leadership of TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud and he was frequently travelling to Kabul after the Taliban take over in August last year.
Earlier, he managed a terrorist hideout in North Waziristan tribal district of Khyber Pakthunkhwa but fled to Afghanistan during operation Zarb-i-Azab in 2014. His killing comes in the wake of the breakdown of a month-long ceasefire between the TTP and the Pakistan army.
The TTP had announced to halt all attacks from November 9, 2021 for one month.
Last week, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said that the talks with the TTP ended after the banned group came up with certain conditions which were not acceptable. “The ceasefire finished on December 9… Operations are going on against them (militant),” he had said, adding that operations would continue until the menace of militancy was over.