Pakistani Taliban deputy killed in drone strike

The Pakistani Taliban says a senior militant was killed in a US drone attack which killed several militants 

Pakistani Taliban senior militant Khalid Mehsud
Pakistani Taliban senior militant Khalid Mehsud

The Pakistani Taliban says a senior militant, Khalid Mehsud, also known as Commander Sajna, was killed in a US drone attack.

The Taliban confirmed Monday that its deputy chief was among several militants killied in a recent US drone strike near Pakistan’s volatile border with Afghanistan.

Mehsud was deputy leader of the banned Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the main faction of the hardline Islamist Pakistani Taliban.

In announcing the death of Khan Said Sajna, the spokesman for the so-called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, TTP, said the pre-dawn drone attack occurred on February 8 in the Gorwek area of North Waziristan.

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

The commander was believed to be sheltering in Khost and had ties to the Haqqani network accused of staging high-profile terrorist attacks against local and U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan. His elimination, analysts say, is a major blow to the TPP.

Sajna was wanted in America for his role in terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens. Pakistani authorities also wanted him for planning major terrorist attacks in the country and orchestrating a 2012 jailbreak in the northwestern town of Bannu that freed around 400 inmates, including high-profile militants.

The TTP has been blamed for dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks.

In December, gunmen from the militant group stormed a college in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 36.

The US government has not released any information on the killing.

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