Pakistan Taliban's second-in-command reported killed in drone strike


Pakistani demonstrators shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Multan in January 2013, against the drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas. The Pakistan Taliban's second-in-command, Wali-ur-Rehman, was reportedly killed in a drone strike on May 29, 2013.



The Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command Wali-ur-Rehman was reportedly killed by a drone strike on Wednesday in the country's tribal belt.

An intelligence official and a local tribal official confirmed the report to CNN, while Al Jazeera cited three Pakistani security officials.

The alleged US drone strike in North Waziristan killed three other people and left four others wounded, according to the Pakistani security officials.

The Pakistan Taliban's spokesman could not confirm or deny the report of Rehman's death to CNN.

However, CNN's other sources reported, "Rehman was killed along with his close aide, Fakhar-ul-Islam, and two Uzbek nationals whose identities the sources didn't know."

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Rehman was a top deputy of Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. If confirmed, Rehman's death would be a major blow to the insurgency, which has been linked to thousands of military and civilian deaths in the country in its quest to impose Islamic law in Pakistan.

The Washington Post noted, however, that the deaths of militant leaders — including Mehsud — by drone strike have been greatly exaggerated in the past, with the militants in question resurfacing shortly thereafter.

Three children were also reportedly hurt in Wednesday's drone strike.

The strike comes on the heels of landmark elections in Pakistan which marked the first transfer of power from one democratic government to another. It's the first such drone strike on Pakistan's soil since Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif's party won a majority in the May 11 election.

Sharif, who will take power in June, has called the drone strikes a "challenge" to Pakistan's sovereignty.

US President Barack Obama made the case for using drone strikes in a major policy speech last week, but he vowed that the US would limit their use to targets who pose an "imminent threat."

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