Peshawar school attack mastermind killed in US drone strike
A US drone strike in Afghanistan has killed the mastermind of the attack on an army school that left over 140 school children dead in 2014 in Pakistan’s northwestern Peshawar city, security officials said on Tuesday.
Officials said Umar Mansour, alias Umar Naray, had been killed along with another militant leader Qari Saifullah, in the US drone attack in the Bandar area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Saturday.
“Umar Naray was killed with his three associates,” an intelligence official said. Another official confirmed the death of Qari Saifullah, who was in charge of Taliban suicide bombers, in the attack.
Both Naray and Saifullah belonged to Geedar group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and had shifted to Afghanistan due to Zarb-e-Azb military operation launched in June 2014.
Naray took responsibility of Peshawar school attack on December 16, 2014, which killed around 150 people including at least 136 students. He also was the mastermind of an attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda near Peshawar in January that left at least 21 people dead.
The killing of leading Pakistani militant in Afghanistan shows what Islamabad has been saying that militants have shifted across the border. The US State Department had on May 25 designated Umar Mansour as a global terrorist, clearing the path for his inclusion in its hit-list.
There was no official confirmation of Mansour’s death from either the TTP or any independent source. If true, his death would be a severe blow to the terror group. Mansour, because of his violent and major terrorist attacks, was regarded by Pakistani security agencies as a major threat.