Kabul: The leader of a Pakistani militant group whose suicide bombings killed more than 250 people died on Thursday of injuries from a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the militants said.
Omar Khalid Khorasani’s death comes ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit and is likely to help ease tensions between the often-wary allies, as Islamabad has been asking Washington to target militants who attack inside Pakistan and hide over the border in Afghanistan.
Khorasani’s Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, is one of dozens of armed Islamist factions – including al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban – operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But JuA has been particularly deadly in Pakistan, claiming responsibility for eight major attacks in two years.
Among them was last year’s Easter Sunday bombing in a park that killed at least 70 people, including 29 children, in the eastern city of Lahore. Khorasani was an alleged organizer of a December 2014 terrorist attack on a Peshawar school that killed 147 people, most of them children.