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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

World

US backs Pakistani Taliban leader Mehsud's killing
Reuters
Riyadh, November 04, 2013
First Published: 22:05 IST(4/11/2013)
Last Updated: 01:47 IST(5/11/2013)

US Secretary of State John Kerry defended on Monday the drone strike that killed the Pakistani Taliban leader but added that Washington was sensitive to any Pakistani concerns, after Islamabad denounced the attack as a blow to peace talks.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who took over as the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban in 2009, was killed on Friday, along with three others, in a US drone strike in northwest Pakistan.

The Pakistani government denounced Mehsud's killing as a US bid to derail peace talks and summoned the US ambassador on Saturday to complain.
Some politicians called for blocking US military supply lines into Afghanistan.

Kerry said that while he welcomed any discussions "we are sensitive to the concerns of the country and we look forward to working very closely with the government of Pakistan."

"We intend to continue to work together with them (Pakistanis) through the strategic dialogue that we have established in order to work through these kinds of challenges."

He added of Mehsud: "This is a man who absolutely is known to have targeted and killed many Americans, many Afghans and many Pakistanis. A huge number of Pakistanis have died at the hands of Mehsud and his terrorist organisation."


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