Molana Fazlullah (pictured above) who son was allegedly killed in a US drone strike in Kunar, Afghanistan
On Wednesday 7th March, I received the following message from a source close to Taliban group TTP,
“20 Mujahideen of Tehreek -e- Taliban (TTP) Pakistan embraced martyrdom in US drone attack on the tip off of Afghan intelligence in Afghanistan, in Islamic Emirates Controlled area. The grand son of Sufi Muhammad and Son of Molana Fazlullah is among the martyrs.”
The drone strike was said to have taken place in Sultan Khel area of Eastern Kunar province near Bajaur Agency tribal region of Pakistan according to Khaama Press. Six other persons were reported wounded in a text message received by Tolo.
Fazlullah also known as Fazal Hayat and nicknamed “Mullah FM, Radio” for his fiery religious broadcasts whilst living in Swat, Pakistan is Emir of TTP. The age of Molana Fazlullah’s son Abdullah is allegedly 14 and therefore considered a minor in international law. Drone strikes are often followed by “blowback” and TTP have a long history of avenging attacks.
According to Dawn media, the father -in-law of Fazlullah, a grandfather in his late 80s, Maulana Sufi Muhammad, cleric and chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM “was (recently) released from jail after his arrest and subsequent imprisonment in 2009 for hate speech against the government”. He criticised TTP strongly in an interview with Pakistan Tribune alleging,”TTP have tarnished the image of Islam” and cited the attack on schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai and the Army Public School Massacre, Peshawar where many schoolchildren were killed.
The following report by Tahir Khan, Daily Times details the attack on the training camp stating, “a Taliban source said US drone fired five missiles on the camp when the bombers were present for routine training. He described the strike as disastrous for the TTP as the group might have lost some key members.”
Khaama Press also alleged, “a key TTP figure involved in training suicide bombers Ustad Yaseen was also among those killed.”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a former Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development (Distinction). Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.