Islamabad: A senior Pakistani Taliban commander has been killed in a clash with security forces in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region, where a major military campaign against militants is underway.
Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in statement today that Muhammed Hassan, a commander of the outlawed group, was killed in a clash with security forces in the region's Boya area two days ago.
Hasan, who belonged to Afghanistan's Kabul city, was recently released from a prison there and was "reunited with his comrades" in Pakistan, the statement added.
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also issued a photo showing their leader Mullah Fazlullah attending the funeral prayer of the slain commander.
The TTP statement came after it was alleged that the the militant outfit had fled to neighbouring Afghanistan without putting up a resistance to the Pakistani security forces.
Shahid claimed that the Taliban were fighting the security forces and were still in control of key areas.
But the Pakistan Army has said that the insurgents have suffered heavy losses since operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched on June 15 to flush out militants and clear their hideouts from the North Waziristan region, once touted as the TTP stronghold.
The army has said the militants' command and control system has been detroyed and they were on the run.
The military says forces, backed by fighter jets and gunships, have killed over 1,000 militants so far.