Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud killed in US drone strike?


Islamabad : Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is believed to be among the 15 militants killed Thursday in a US drone strike in the country’s northwest but this could not be independently confirmed.

Support TwoCircles

Quoting a private TV channel, Online news agency reported that Mehsud and 14 other militants were killed when a US drone fired four Hellfire missiles at a suspected Taliban training camp at Pasalkot village in the North Waziristan Agency along the Afghan border.

The Taliban has denied that Mehsud has been killed.

Hakimullah Mehsud had taken over the reins of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after its previous chief, Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike last August.

After Thursday’s drone strikes, the militants cordoned off the area and was preventing people from entering or leaving. The training camp was home to a religious seminary some years ago.

This was the seventh missile strike by a US spy plane this year. More than 700 people have died in 77 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008.

The Pakistani military is currently engaged in a major offensive against the Taliban in the neighbouring South Waziristan Agency and claims to have eliminated some 1,000 militants. The operations had begun in October 2008 after the security forces had cleared Swat and three other districts of the North West Frontier Province of the militants, killing some 1,500 guerrillas.