Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish confirmed the killing of Mullah Fazlullah.
The US military said Thursday it carried out a strike targeting a senior terrorist leader in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province, where Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah is believed to be hiding. He said the airstrike was carried out at about 9 a.m. on Thursday.
The Express Tribune, however, citing sources said the drone strike that took place in the Nur Gul Kalay village of Dangam district killed Fazlullah and four other Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) commanders.
Fazlullah's death could ease strained ties between Islamabad and Washington even as Afghanistan observes an unprecedented three-day ceasefire with the larger Afghan Taliban.
Reports also emerged a few years ago that he had ordered the 2012 attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai, who had been advocating for the right of girls to have access to an education.
The US State Department in March announced a $5 million reward for help locating Fazlullah, who has been linked to bloody attacks in Pakistan and the 2010 attempted Times Square vehicle bombing in NY. Ahead of the American drone strike, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had visited Kabul to discuss the Afghan peace process and counterterrorism cooperation.
Radmanish also told the Associated Press that two other militants were killed along with Fazlullah.
Later, Afghanistan's defence ministry said that the dreaded terrorist leader was killed in a joint aerial operation with the US.
"As previously stated, the ceasefire does not include USA counterterrorism efforts against IS-K, al Qaeda, and other regional and worldwide terrorist groups, or the inherent right of U.S. and global forces to defend ourselves if attacked", read the statement.
"The presence of Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan had caused Pakistan to claim that the Afghan government supports groups who are against Pakistan". The Pakistani Taliban have not yet confirmed the killing of their leader but a commander of TTP, a conglomerate of at least 30 Pakistani militant groups, was trying to get information from their fighters in the region.
Fazlullah emerged as an Islamist leader in the Swat Valley, northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, more than a decade ago.
The militant rose to prominence through fiery radio rants, earning him the nickname Mullah Radio.
The youngster, 15 at the time, was shot while on a bus after taking an exam in 2012.