Pakistani Taliban Deputy Leader Killed in Drone Strike

Pauline Gross
February 15, 2018

The group is responsible for dozens of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks.

Mehsud was a commander in the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, the Taliban's main faction.

The deputy chief of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, the militant group said in a statement Monday, as Washington continues to intensify attacks along the Afghan border region.

Pakistani Taliban confirmed on Monday that its senior commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the country's North Waziristan tribal region last week and said they had appointed a new deputy to take his place.

The group s leaders have nominated Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud to take his place, the statement said, adding Mehsud has "undeterring trust" in Pakistani Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah.

Pakistani security officials announced the death of Mehsud, also known as Sajna, soon after the February 8 airstrike in Afghanistan's Paktika Province, on its border with Pakistan.

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Militant sources said Wali, known by the nickname Ghar Starga, is a ruthless leader with experience working in Pakistani urban areas including the southern city of Karachi.

Mr. Sayed had gone into hiding in Khost Province of Afghanistan after the Pakistani Army launched an offensive in 2014 against local and foreign militants in North Waziristan.

USA drone strikes in the border region have picked up since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, though they are a long way off their peak in 2010.

Last month, the United States suspended about $2 billion assistance to Pakistan.

Mehsud has kept militant attacks going not only against military targets in South Waziristan but also at times deeper inside Pakistani territory.

Other reports by GizPress

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