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TTP top leader khalid balti shot dead by unknown gunmen in nangarhar

Khalid Balti was hit in the head by highly trained shooters who shared his pictures on social media after killing him

Mohammad Khalid Balti alias Khalid Khorrasani, a senior leader of the banned militant outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been shot dead by unknown attackers in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan on Monday.

According to sources, highly trained shooters killed Khalid Balti/Khorrasani by hitting bullets in his head. The Taliban commanders said that the shooters of Khorrasani took his photo and circulated to media to show his killing.

A TTP spokesman said details were being collected about reports related to the assassination of their former spokesman.

Deceased Khalid Balti belonged to Gilgit-Baltistan and he joined the TTP and shifted to Miranshah, North Waziristan. He was then made the TTP spokesman after Shahidullah Shahid and five others quit the militant organisation to join the Islamic State or Daesh in Afghanistan.

Khurrasani then shifted to Afghanistan along many other TTP fighters after the Pakistan army launched a massive military offensive “Zarb-e-Azb” against all the militant organisations in North Waziristan tribal district on June 15, 2014. He however continued to work as a spokesman of the banned TTP in Afghanistan and claimed responsibility for several devastating attacks in Pakistan.

Some of the major attacks that he claimed in Pakistan included the ruthless killing of innocent school children and their teachers in the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, bloodiest attack of suicide bombers on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, and two other terrorist attacks on Kamra airbase and Karachi airport.

It was in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province where the Afghan security forces of the previous Dr Ashraf Ghani government had captured Mohammad Khorrasani and sent him to the Bagram jail.

He however got released along with thousands of other Taliban prisoners when the Afghan Taliban took over Afghanistan and broke all the prisons in the country and set free all prisoners.

The Taliban later regretted their decision of breaking the jails and releasing all the prisoners as they included members of the Islamic State. After their release from jails, members of the Islamic State started attacks on the Afghan Taliban.

According to the members of the Pakistani Taliban, after his dramatic release from jail, Khalid Balti remained silent and waited if he can be reinstated in his previous position. It didn’t happen as the Taliban had already a spokesman, using same name Mohammad Khorrasani.

Taliban sources said Khalid Balti was no longer their spokesperson. Also, they claimed he was not active in militant activities after his release from jail.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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