Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Taliban says its deputy chief killed in United States drone strike

Taliban says its deputy chief killed in United States drone strike

Mr. Sayed was considered close to the Haqqani network, the militant group that has carried out deadly attacks in Afghanistan and has been a cause of diplomatic tensions between the United States and Pakistan.

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.

"We confirm that the deputy head of the TTP Khalid Mehsud died in a drone strike", Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khurassani said in a text message to reporters.

In May 2016, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mansour, was also killed in a USA drone strike in Pakistan, meeting the same fate as the head of TTP, Hakimullah Mehsud, did in 2013.

Wali, according to Reuters, will now train militants in South Waziristan, a rugged mountainous region on the Afghan border which has always been home to Pakistani, Afghan, and al Qaeda-linked foreign militants.

More news: British Defence Secretary warns Australia to remain vigilant to China intent

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.

The Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in 2014.

The border region is off limits to journalists and verifying information independently is hard.

Islamabad opposes the drone strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty. According to a January 12, 2018 report, Bajwa said he received a phone call from the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Vogel, offering assurances that the United States would not unilaterally hit targets inside Pakistan.

Pakistan denies sheltering militants.

Like this: