Long War Journal
US drone strike targets head of Pakistani Taliban
The US targeted the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan in a drone strike today in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan. The strike is the second in the tribal agency in three days.
The CIA-operated, remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers fired a pair of missiles at Hakeemullah’s vehicle as it left a mosque in the village of Danday Darpa Khel in the Miramshah area of North Waziristan, Dawn reported. The strike killed five “militants.”
Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, was the target of today’s strike. Hakeemullah’s bodyguard, who was identified as Tariq Mehsud, and his driver, Abdullah Mehsud, are said to be among those killed in today’s attack.
Pakistani intelligence officials are claiming they have confirmed that Hakeemullah was killed in the strike, but officials would not speak on the record, Reuters reported.
Pakistani Taliban chief killed in drone strike: sources
(Reuters) - The chief of the Pakistani Taliban was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Friday, security sources and a senior Taliban commander said, in a major blow to the country’s most feared militant group.
Hakimullah Mehsud was one of Pakistan’s most wanted men with a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head. He led an increasingly violent insurgency from a secret hideout in North Waziristan, the Taliban’s mountainous stronghold on the Afghan border.
“We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack,” a senior Taliban commander said.
Mehsud’s funeral will be held on Saturday in Miranshah, the Taliban commander said - a high-profile event likely to stir tensions further in the already highly volatile region.