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US announces $5 mn reward for Pak Taliban leader

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The US today announced a USD 5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Maulana Fazlullah, the of the banned terror outfit Tehreek-e-which has carried out several deadly attacks, including the 2014 school massacre in which over 150 people, mostly students, were killed.

The announcement by the State Department came a day after Fazlullah's son was reported killed in a US drone strike in

Under its rewards for justice programme, the US also announced a USD 3 million reward for information each on of (JuA) and Lashkar-e-Islam leader

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar is a terrorist organisation that split away from Tehreek-e-(TTP) while Lashkar-e-Islam is based in Pakistan's Khyber Tribal Agency.

The announcement came as held meetings with officials of the Trump administration, including the and the State Department.

The State Department said the TTP was a terrorist organisation based in the tribal areas of eastern It has historically maintained close ties with

Since being appointed by the group's central in November 2013, has organised and directed several TTP attacks in Pakistan and has publicly blamed the US for military operations against the group.

In December 2014, Fazlullah's operatives carried out the most lethal terrorist attack in Pakistan's history when they killed 151 people, including more than 130 children, during an attack on

In 2012, ordered the failed assassination of Pakistani school girl for promoting girls' right to education and publicly criticized and the TTP, the State Department said.

reportedly operates from Afghanistan's Nangarhar and Kunar Provinces. Under Wali's leadership, JuA has been one of the most operationally active TTP networks in the Province and has claimed multiple suicide bombings and other attacks throughout Pakistan.

In March 2016, JuA conducted a suicide bombing at a public park in that killed 75 people and injured 340 others.

In August 2015, JuA claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in that killed Home Minister and 18 of his supporters.

Wali, also known as Omar Khalid Khorasani, was born in and is believed to be in his late 30s.

He is a former and has studied at a number of madrasas in

According to the State Department, and his group earns revenue from drug trafficking, smuggling, kidnapping, raids on NATO convoys and taxes on transit trade between Pakistan and

Bagh has led Lashkar-e-Islam since 2006 and has routinely shifted alliances to protect illicit revenue streams while enforcing an extreme version of Deobandi Islam in the areas of and that he controls, particularly Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan.

Born in Khyber Agency in Pakistan, he is believed to be in his mid-40s. Bagh is a member of the Afridi tribe. He studied at a madrasa for several years and later fought alongside militant groups in Afghanistan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 14:15 IST