TTP: U.S. airstrike on New Year’s Eve ‘killed four locals’

Following a nearly four-month truce, the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) announced that they are no longer observing the ceasefire deal that took effect in September. TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that the cease-fire agreement was broken by the U.S. Army on New Year’s Eve. Shahid claimed that U.S. airstrikes killed four locals on Dec. 31. Pakistan’s army spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, did not confirm the operation but called the TTP’s claims “baseless.”

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Shahid said that “during the truce, the U.S. conducted a ground operation, targeting a cadre of militants in Afghanistan . . . the Army did not provide any cover to the Americans. Even their helicopters and planes were brought on fire-base,” he said.

“In that operation in Afghanistan the American troops accidentally killed four locals, including some innocent civilians,” he claimed. “We don’t accept the deal at all. The Afghan government and NATO helped the Americans in their attack in Afghanistan. They (Pakistan) were asked by the Americans to honor the deal,” he claimed.

The TTP spokesman admitted the cease-fire had been broken by the U.S. only three days into the deal, saying: “They killed at least 22 local persons in the preceding two days. We believe that the U.S. could not have carried out ground attacks in Afghan soil without the Afghan government’s support,” he said.

Shahid said that the Taliban had been promised help to counter “drastic war measures,” specifically aerial operations.

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