PESHAWAR/KARACHI: Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal agency on Friday, intelligence officials and Pakistani Taliban said.
Intelligence officials said the Pakistani Taliban supremo was leaving from a meeting at a mosque in Dande Darpakhel area of North Waziristan when the drone targeted their vehicle.
Pakistani Taliban militants said that funeral for the TTP chief will be held tomorrow afternoon at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan.
Pakistan government is, however, yet to confirm the death of Hakimullah Mehsud. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a private TV channel that he could not confirm reports of the TTP chief’s death.
Five militants, including Abdullah Bahar Mehsud and Tariq Mehsud, both key militant commanders and close aides of the TTP chief, were also killed with two others injured in the drone strike, multiple sources confirmed.
Foreign news agency AP reports that a senior US intelligence official confirmed the strike overnight, saying the US received positive confirmation Friday morning that he had been killed.
The CIA and the White House declined to comment on the reported death. The US National Counterterrorism Center describes Mehsud as “the self-proclaimed amir of the Pakistani Taliban.”
Speaking to Dawn, Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the US State Department said: “We have seen those reports but we don’t have anything for you on that. The reports just came out. We have a close cooperative relationship with Pakistan on various issues, including counter-terrorism but I do not have anything specific for you on Pakistan on this report.”
Mehsud has been reported dead several times before. But late on Friday, several intelligence, army and militant sources across the country confirmed he had been killed in the strike in the lawless North Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan. see more