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Pakistani Taliban confirm No. 2 killed in US drone strike

Azam Tariq Mehsud, the spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, says the group’s deputy chief, Khalid Mehsud, also known as Commander Sajna, was killed in US drone strike

world Updated: Feb 12, 2018 18:33 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Dera Islmail Khan
Pakistan Taliban deputy,Azam Tariq Mehsud,Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
US service member passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base in Afghanistan on January 23, 2018. (REUTERS)

The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban has confirmed the death of their deputy leader in a recent US drone strike in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region.

Azam Tariq Mehsud, the spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, says the group’s deputy chief, Khalid Mehsud, also known as Commander Sajna, was killed in last Thursday’s strike in the border village of Gorwak in North Waziristan, once a stronghold of militants.

He said another commander, Mufti Noor Wali, has now been appointed as the group’s deputy chief.

Tariq says Wali enjoys the backing of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials had earlier reported unconfirmed reports about Sajna’s killing in a US strike.

Islamabad opposes the drone strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 18:27 IST