A late night roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan struck a vehicle carrying members of the Pakistani Taliban group, killing a senior leader and three other militants, several Pakistani officials and militant figures said Monday.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the Sunday night killing of Abdul Wali, also widely known as Omar Khalid Khurasani, in Afghanistan's Paktika province. His death is a heavy blow to the Pakistani Taliban, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group or the TTP.
The TTP blamed Pakistani intelligence agents for the killing, without offering evidence or elaborating.
The three other slain militants included Khurasani's driver and two of his close aides. No one else was in the car at the time of the attack, according to Pakistani officials and the TTP members who spoke to The Associated Press.
The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan a year ago as the US and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout.
The TTP has waged an insurgency in Pakistan over the past 14 years.
Khurasani, a senior TTP leader, split in 2014 to form his own militant group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which later joined the Pakistani Taliban. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar was designated as a terrorist group by the United States in 2016. Rewards for Justice, the US State Department's counter-terrorism rewards program, offered up to $3 million for information on Khurasani.