According to reports in Pakistan, 6 members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed and 15 injured in an explosion in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost on Thursday.
The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, has reported that the casualties include TTP commanders, Abdul Manan, Alam Khan Mudakhel, and Kajir.
The Taliban in Afghanistan has not commented.
The incident has caused “a wave of disillusionment and dissension in the TTP leadership,” according to the Express Tribune.
The man responsible for the TTP’s Umar Media Group, Makram Harasani, has been seriously injured in a separate incident.
The Pakistani government has repeatedly accused the Taliban in Afghanistan of giving sanctuary to TTP fighters inside the country to prepare and organise attacks in Pakistan in recent months.
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On 22 February, a delegation of senior Pakistani security officials, including the defence minister and the country’s spy chief, visited Kabul and held talks with Taliban leaders in an effort to get the group to act against the TTP.
“Our delegation delivered a very loud and clear message to Afghan Taliban leadership to stop Afghanistan-based TTP militants from launching any spring offensive inside Pakistan and eliminate them from Afghan soil,” a Pakistani official present at the meetings in Kabul told Anadolu news agency.
“In case of failure to stop the TTP from cross-border attacks and inaction to eliminate them or expel them from their hideouts, Pakistan has no other choice but to target their hideouts in border areas inside Afghanistan,” the official, added.
The number of TTP members operating in Afghanistan has been reported to be between 8,000 to 12,000.
During the meetings in Kabul, the Taliban apparently offered to help disarm the TTP providing that the Pakistani government covered the costs.