The Taliban leader who ordered the hit on Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has been killed in a US drone strike.
Mullah Fazlullah, one of Pakistan’s most wanted militants, was killed with four other insurgents in the attack that took place on Thursday morning, officials said. The 44-year-old leader, nicknamed Mullah Radio for his fiery sermons, was the leader of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
A Pakistani intelligence official told The Times: “Fazlullah was killed in Thursday’s drone strike in Kunar along with four other key leaders of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.”
Pakistani Taliban member Maulvi Abdur Rasheed told the Independent: “We have been hearing since early Friday that our Emir was martyred along with four other militant commanders in Marawar area of Kunar. They were staying at a house when a drone fired missiles and martyred them.”
Fazlullah was notorious for numerous killings in the Valley. He is believed to be the brains behind the 2014 school massacre that killed 132. He was also the one who ordered the 2012 shooting of schoolgirl Yousafzai, who was then a 14-year-old education activist. Her survival captivated the world and it helped increase Fazlullah’s notoriety.
After the attack, Yousafzai was airlifted to a hospital in Britain where she was treated. Today, she is studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.
Malala’s autobiography, titled I Am Malala, has an entire chapter devoted to Fazlullah. The book recounts how he reigned terror in the country, ordering the deaths of a number of people, including that of a woman shot for dancing, and a man who refused to wear his shalwar above his ankles in the Taliban way.
Fazlullah was against women’s liberation and education and supported the destruction of schools that taught girls after the Taliban banned female education in the Swat region.
In March 2018, the US government announced a $5 million reward for any information on Fazlullah.