World Neighbours 12 Jul 2016 Peshawar school mass ...

Peshawar school massacre mastermind killed in US drone strike

Published Jul 12, 2016, 12:21 pm IST
Updated Jul 12, 2016, 1:15 pm IST
Journalists inside an auditorium of school attacked by Taliban, in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Photo:AP)
 Journalists inside an auditorium of school attacked by Taliban, in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Photo:AP)

Kabul: The mastermind behind the deadly 2014 attack on a army school in Pakistan's Peshawar has been killed in US-backed drone strike, senior Pakistani security officials said.

According to a report, Umar Mansour, along with another militant leader Qari Saifullah was killed in the air strike in Bandar region of Afghanistan's Nanaghar province.

Umar Mansour had been declared as a 'global terrorist' on May 25 by US State department. The declaration was made four days after a US drone strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan province.

Mansour and Saifullah both belonged to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan's Tariq geedar group and operated from Peshawar.

An official said they had credible reports of Mansour having been killed with Saifullah, who was in charge of Taliban suicide bombers, the Dawn reported.

"What we have is pretty credible," he was quoted as saying in the report.

On December 16, 2014 , Taliban insurgents killed 132 children and 9 teachers and staff members, after storming the school in Peshawar in one of the country's bloodiest attacks in recent years. Pakistan has declared a three-day national mourning.

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar and gunmen went from classroom to classroom, shooting children.

Distraught parents thronged the city's Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children's bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying militants had been ordered to shoot older students.

The attack began around 10.30 am (0530 GMT) when a group of at least five insurgents, reportedly in military uniforms, entered the school.

Condeming the attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had described it as a "national tragedy unleashed by savages". "These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation's loss," he said.



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