ISLAMABAD: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Saturday said that they lost a senior commander, identified as Gul Hasan Afghani, in clashes with security forces in the North Waziristan tribal region.
TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said that Commander Hasan was killed in clashes with the Pakistan Army in the Boya area of the agency two days ago.
Commander Hasan, who belonged to Afghanistan's Kabul city, was released from an Afghan jail some time ago.
Shahid said that the attack was jointly carried out by TTP's Mehsud faction and the local Taliban and had inflicted "heavy losses on the security forces."
“The Taliban fighters also captured some areas of the agency during the operation, and seized arms and other equipment,” he added.
The TTP also released photographs of the funeral of their slain commander and their chief Maulvi Fazlullah led the funeral which took place at an undisclosed location.
Security forces had launched the long-awaited military operation against the TTP and foreign militants in North Waziristan on June 15 after peace talks with the Taliban collapsed.
The military says forces, backed by fighter jets and gunships, have killed over 1,000 militants so far.
The TTP spokesperson, however, denies the army’s statement and claims that the military operation faces a total “failure” and that the military’s information wing the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) is “trying to mislead the people through its favourite media.”
Shahid rejected the army’s statements on Taliban casualties, control over areas in North Waziristan, destruction of Taliban control and command system and the arrest of the TTP members behind the attack on educational activist Malala Yousafzai.
The military spokesperson DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa had earlier said that a group of 10 Taliban militants has been captured in connection with the attack on Malala. He had added that the TTP chief had ordered the attack.
The Taliban spokesperson, however, said that the arrested suspects in connection with attack on Malala were never active Taliban members, adding that they may have been arrested during the 2009 operation in Swat valley and had been missing since then.
“The Taliban central command system is fully secure and active and is successfully attacking key targets of Pakistan Army,” Shahid said.
He also claimed that the Taliban shot down a military fighter jet through an anti-aircraft missile in Shawal area.
The TTP spokesperson also alleged that dozens of TTP detainees have been killed in fake encounters in Karachi.