Counter-terrorism police in Pakistan have killed four members of the banned Taliban group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the same group behind the attack on the activist and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai.

The group of terrorists, which included the commander behind the Malala attack, were all killed in a shootout in the city of Karachi, the local police have confirmed. Senior Superintendent of Police, Rao Anwar, said: "I am going to share good news with you that a cousin of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah has been killed.

"Khursheed was involved in various incidents of terrorism, including attacks on education activist Malala Yousafzai as well as military and police in Karachi's Quaidabad area. "All the militants were members of the TTP Swat and were planning to carry out terrorist activities in the city."

Malala Yousafzai, who now lives in the UK, was aged 15 when she was attacked by the Taliban who had attempted to kill her.

Yousafzai had been a long-time campaigner for more rights for children and women, particularly in order to gain access to education, something which was difficult to get while living in the dangerous Swat Valley.

Her story became known worldwide and the attack sparked international condemnation.

She was eventually brought to the UK where she underwent treatment and set up a new life with her family in Birmingham.

Her defiance against the Taliban won her plaudits from around the world and she went on to be awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace prize.

Karachi is one of the most populated areas in Pakistan but has also been the location of choice for militants to hide. This included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 attack.

Women of the World festival
Malala Yousafzai waves after speaking at the Women of the World Festival in 2014Getty