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Mastermind of Peshawar army school massacre killed in Afghanistan

On May 25, the US State Department had declared Umar Mansour a global terrorist, thus clearing the path for his inclusion in the hit-list

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Army public school Peshawar after the attack. Image Source: www.dawn.com
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  • Umar Mansour was killed, along with another militant leader Qari Saifullah, in the US drone attack in the Bandar area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Saturday
  • On May 25, the US State Department had declared Umar Mansour a global terrorist, thus clearing the path for his inclusion in the hit-list
  • Mansour orchestrated the attack on December 16, 2014, on the Army Public School which killed 122 students and 22 teachers

Senior Pakistani security officials claimed, the mastermind behind Peshawar massacre at Army Public School in 2014 has been killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan.

The officials told Dawn on Monday, July 11, that Umar Mansour was killed, along with another militant leader Qari Saifullah, in the US drone attack in the Bandar area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on Saturday, July 9.

Qari Saifullah. Image Source: alaiwah.wordpress.com
Qari Saifullah. Image Source: alaiwah.wordpress.com

One of the officials said they had credible reports of Mansour having been killed with Saifullah, who was in charge of suicide bombers.

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“What we have is pretty credible,” the official said.

On May 25, the US State Department had declared Umar Mansour a global terrorist, thus clearing the path for his inclusion in the hit-list.

The State Department’s announcement came four days after a drone strike killed Afghan Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan on May 21.

Peshawar attack victims.Image Source: tribune.com.pk
Peshawar attack victims.Image Source: tribune.com.pk

Mansour orchestrated the attack on December 16, 2014, on the Army Public School which killed 122 students and 22 teachers. It was one of the worst terrorist attacks which prompted the government to declare an all-out war against terrorist outfits in the country.

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Mansour and Saifullah belonged to Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Tariq Geedar group and used to operate in Peshawar and adjoining Frontier Region Peshawar and Darra Adamkhel.

Umar Mansour. Image Source: www.dawn.com
Umar Mansour. Image Source: www.dawn.com

Mansour fled to Afghanistan following a military operation in Khyber tribal region and continued to operate from there. He was held responsible for the September 2015 attack on a Pakistan Air Force base in Peshawar’s Badaber area, which killed 29 people.

He was also behind the January 2016 attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda in which 18 students and faculty members lost their lives. (IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Finally, God had done justice with all the innocent children who were victims of Peshawar Army School massacre.

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US Planning For Space Force To Stay Ahead in War

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility

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Space Force
Air Force Gen. Carlton D. Everhart, the Commander of Air Mobility Command, left, holds a binder with a photograph of Air Force One on the cover as he speaks to Navy Adm. Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, second from left, while arriving with other generals and admirals for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016. (VOA)

It might sound like science fiction, but the general in charge of the U.S. military’s air transports across the globe says refueling and resupplying the military may soon be a job that’s literally out of this world.

“If I can resupply from space I can go across globe in about 30 minutes,” Air Force General Carlton Everhart, the head of Air Mobility Command, told VOA. “I do truly believe that is the next step. We can really make inroads.”

Everhart says the time gained by using hypersonic craft in space could keep him ahead in “the speed of war,” where competitors China and Russia have been trying to make gains.

The idea of using space deliveries isn’t as far out as it may seem. In fact, industry leaders, companies Everhart hopes to partner with, are already working on this type of technology.

Launch vehicles from companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and even foreign ventures could “provide tremendous strategic advantage to the U.S. government,” according to Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

But it’s an advantage that would come with an astronomical price tag of thousands of dollars per kilo.

Experts say the need to transport via space must outweigh these costs, perhaps only being used during the most important of missions.

Todd Harrison, a space and defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a situation where time necessities could overpower cost concerns.

“Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack. It could have made the difference,” he said.

The general is not just focused on launching from one point on Earth to another, Everhart also wants to use satellites to preposition cargo in space.

Stallmer said a lot of spaceflight companies are looking at this idea of space refueling depots, including plans to convert those refueling vehicles to habitats within space once they’ve been used.

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The future is full of possibilities, but it is unclear when these technologies will be fully developed. Experts give estimates ranging from a couple of years to more than a decade, but that doesn’t stop Everhart from dreaming.

“The train is leaving the station and we’re going to be on it. And I’m not going to be on the caboose. I want to be in front of, I’m going to be in the front,” he said.

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility. (VOA)