A key leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the mother organization of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in Afghanistan, the group confirmed late Thursday night.
Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, the former deputy chief of TTP and member of the group's central committee, along with another commander Qari Saif Peshawari were killed during a fight with forces in Afghanistan on Jan. 31, Mohammad Khurasani, the outlawed militant group spokesman said in a statement.
Khurasani did not disclose details about the clash, but said he was on his way for carrying out an attack when Afghan forces stopped his way and killed him.
Founded in 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud -- hailing from the powerful Mehsud tribe of the South Waziristan tribal region -- the TTP already stands divided into four groups: the Swat group, Mehsud group, Bajaur Agency group, and Darra Adamkhel group.
Haqqani, a notorious leader, was listed among the most wanted terrorists by Pakistani authorities for his involvement in several terror attacks in the country.
Analysts said the killing of Haqqani is a big hit for the TTP as he was leading their religious section, using the Taliban for propaganda.
"Haqqani was known as the top religious cleric of the group who was also issued a decree against the journalists in 2014 declaring them a 'party' to the conflict in the country," Saboor Khattak, a Peshawar-based senior journalist, told Anadolu Agency.
"TTP has already split into several groups and Haqqani was an important leader of Mehsud group, Khattak added.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.