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TTP commander Umar Khorasani injured in Afghanistan

KABUL, Feb 08 (INP): The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) Mohmand faction chief, and patron of TTP-Jamatul Ahrar (TTP-JA) Umar Khalid Khorasani has suffered serious injuries in a clash with Afghan security forces in the Ningrahar province of Afghanistan. Former Pakistani Taliban spokesperson, and Khorasani’s close aide, Ehsanullah Ehsan confirmed that the TTP Mohmand chief was injured in a clash with the Afghan security forces. While some independent sources said that Khorasani had been injured, Ehsan said he was injured two weeks back, and was now recovering. One of the founding members of the TTP, Khorasani (aka Abdul Wali) is a former journalist from Mohmand agency. Within organizational circles he is known as a formidable military commander.

He was also given additional charge of the Khyber agency chapter for a brief period where he orchestrated a bloody campaign against government-backed lashkars. Climbing up in the ranks to Mohmand agency chief, he was later ousted from the TTP for forming the splinter group Jamatul Ahrar. Khorasani had been a key player in the recent splintering of the TTP. One part of the outfit is now headed by Mullah Fazlullah, who was elected following the killing of ex-chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike. Fazlullah is the first non-Mehsud leader of the Pakistani Taliban and has struggled to impose his authority on the powerful tribe.

He faced many challengers to become chief of the Pakistani Taliban after the death of the previous head. The other is headed by Umar Khorasani who is commanding Mohmand Agency independently, and leads the breakaway Jamatul Ahrar (freedom fighters group). Khorasani previously led a faction called Ahrarul Hind, which claimed several attacks during a ceasefire period between the government and Taliban in 2014, including one on an Islamabad court complex that killed 12 people. Separately, a drone strike in the Achina area of Nazayan in Ningrahar province of Afghanistan left at least three militants dead and many others injured.

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