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According to a statement attributed to U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col Martin O'Donnell, the U.S. carried out a "counterterrorism strike" on Thursday in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan targeting 'a senior leader of a designated terrorist organisation'.

US officials say Fazullah ordered numerous high-profile attacks against American and Pakistani targets, including a 2014 school massacre that killed 141 people, mostly children.

Apart from numerous terrorist attacks on Pakistani forces and civilians, he is also considered the mastermind of the 2014 massacre of over 140 children at an army-run school in Peshawar.

When Ms Yousafzai publicly challenged the Taliban's stance in Swat, Fazlullah ordered the 15-year-old be killed, though she survived and went on to be awarded the Nobel peace prize. He had ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai.

The Pakistani Taliban did not immediately confirm Fazlullah's death, but three members of the group told The Washington Post privately that he was among the dead.

Pakistani political and military leaders have demanded that global and Afghan security forces take firmer action against Fazlullah's group, which is now said to be based in Afghanistan. He helped preside over a reign of terror in Pakistan's Swat Valley for years, ordering his men to kill and mutilate anyone who he believed opposed his extremist interpretation of Islam.

In Afghanistan's eastern Logar provincial capital of Pul-e-Alam dozens of unarmed Taliban celebrated the Eid holiday, several greeting Afghan security forces, provincial police chief spokesman Shahpur Ahmadzai said Saturday in a telephone interview.

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"As previously stated, the ceasefire does not include United States counter-terrorism efforts against [Daesh], Al-Qaida, and other regional and global terrorist groups, or the inherent right of USA and worldwide forces to defend ourselves if attacked", he had said.

In March, the United States offered a $5-million U.S. reward for information on Fazlullah.

Ghani added the Pakistani leaders had assured him the strike was "a great step toward building trust between the two nations", while urging them to "bring (the) Afghan Taliban residing in Pakistan to the negotiation table".

The Associated Press spoke to Abdullah Faizani, a Taliban fighter from Logar's Baraki district, who said it has been seven years since he has been to the provincial capital.

"We have been hearing since early Friday that our Emir (leader) was martyred along with four other militant commanders in Marawar area of Kunar".

In Yousafzai's hometown of Mingora in the Swat Valley, residents welcomed reports of Fazlullah's death with one resident saying many feared he would return one day to re-impose his violent rule.


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