Key TTP splinter group commander reportedly killed in Afghanistan

عکس از آرشیف

Dost Muhammad, also known as Asad Afridi, a key commander within the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Jamaatul Ahrar faction, was reportedly killed in an airstrike in Lalpura, Afghanistan, as unveiled by Pakistani media on Thursday.

Afridi, once the TTP’s shadow governor for the Dera Ismail Khan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, had been linked to various attacks, including last month’s assault on a Pakistani military garrison in the Zhob district of Balochistan. Despite TTP’s denial, Afridi claimed responsibility for the attack.

He contended that the Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), which TTP had attributed to the garrison attack, was a facade for TTP itself, devoid of actual existence. Moreover, Afridi criticized TTP’s central shura for his removal as shadow governor of the DI Khan District.

The fissures between TTP and its Jamaatul Ahrar faction — both designated militant groups in Pakistan — had deepened after the Zhob attack, resulting in Afridi’s dismissal as shadow governor. TTP had warned him regarding his statements concerning the attack.

Tahir Khan, a Pakistani journalist, noted, “As long as attacks and violence continue in Pakistan, this distrust that already exists will increase.”

On August 14, following an attack on a hotel in Khost, Pakistani media sources claimed that Pakistan had conducted a drone strike against TTP members. The Taliban reported several Pakistani migrants were killed or wounded. Earlier in July, the death of Mohammad Daudzai, the commander of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, became public in Paktia, Afghanistan. However, the Taliban have refrained from publicizing these occurrences thus far.

“The killing of terrorist leaders by drones means that the Taliban have said no to all agreements and their credibility with the international community will fall, and interactions with them will be reviewed,” Mohammad Radmanesh, a military affairs analyst, commented.

While the Taliban neither confirm nor deny the Pakistani media reports, the Taliban’s defense minister asserted this week that Islamabad blames them for its security challenges.

“One of Pakistan’s grand and strategic goals is to turn Afghanistan into an insecure geography and launch another proxy war under the pretext of TTP and this and that,” Samar Sadat, a military affairs analyst, said.