Sixteen Afghan Pro-Government Fighters Killed In Taliban Attack

15 February, 2018, 06:59 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • No progress in Pak-Afghan talks on terrorism

The deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a suspected USA drone strike and a new deputy has been appointed said the Tehrik-e-Taliban paksitan.

"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.

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

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

Pakistani security officials announced the death of Mehsud, also known as Sajna, soon after the February 8 airstrike in Afghanistan's Paktika Province, on its border with Pakistan. Three of his guards were also killed in the strike. "The vehicle was completely destroyed", an intelligence official told the Pakistani publication.

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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.

His influence can be seen from how he defied Mullah Fazlullah - who officially became the third TTP leader after Hakimullah's death in a drone strike in 2014.

Afghanistan hosted military chiefs from several neighboring countries on Tuesday, including Pakistan's army chief, for a conference focusing on how to deal with escalating terrorism in the region.

He studied in a seminary in Faisalabad city in the heartland province of Punjab and recently wrote a book eulogizing the founder of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a 2009 drone attack.

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

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