10/20/2017, 10.01
PAKISTAN
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US drone kills Taliban leader

Umar Khalid Khorasani was wounded last week in Afghanistan. Islamic group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militants claimed the attack on Gulshan-i-Iqbal park in Lahore in 2016, which resulted in more than 70 mostly Muslim victims. Anti-terrorism operations ahead of visit by US Secretary of State.

Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The leader of a Pakistani Taliban group was killed by an attack by US drone troops in Afghanistan. AFP reports that Asad Mansoor, spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JUA) militants, confirmed the death of Umar Khalid Khorasani and nine other affiliates. Khorasani was considered the "mastermind" of many attacks in the country, including last year's bloody attack on Lahore’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park on Easter Day, which resulted in more than 70 casualties.

According to JUA spokesman, Khorasani was "seriously injured during a recent US drone operation while he was in the Afghan province of Paktia." Local sources reported a rise in US drone operations in Pakistani and Afghan territory. According to experts, the increase would be a consequence of the forthcoming visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will visit India and Pakistan next week and talk about regional stability.

According to a Taliban militant, a young fighter, Asad Afridi,  has replaced Khorasani as the new head of JUA. The group arose in 2014, when it struck ties with the Islamic State. The following year it returned to the ranks of al-Qaeda, as a faction of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

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