A suspected mastermind of a 2009 attack on the Pakistan army headquarters near the capital Islamabad has been killed in a security forces operation in northwest Pakistan, local media reported Wednesday.
Local TV channel Express News, quoting an unnamed senior security official, reported that Akbar Ali, a senior Pakistani Taliban commander, was killed in an “intelligence operation” in the remote Gomal town. No further details of the operation were given.
Nine army personnel, including a brigadier, and all but one of the 10 militants were killed in the attack which the army reacted to with a full-fledged operation on South Waziristan, the northwestern tribal area which was then the stronghold of the Taliban umbrella group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The lone surviving attacker Usman Punjabi was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorist court in 2011 and in 2014 became the first person to be executed after the government lifted a de-facto ban on the death penalty, in reaction to a Taliban attack that killed more than 140 people.
Since June 2014, Pakistan’s army has been occupied by another full-scale operation in the northwestern tribal areas, where they claim to have killed more than 4,500 militants, mostly in North Waziristan.
The offensive has also displaced more than a million tribesmen, with only a third having managed to return despite the army claiming to have cleared 90 percent of the area of militants.