Pakistani Taliban confirms leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed


Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud in a photo taken on November 26, 2008.


A Majeed

Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was reportedly killed in a US drone strike on Friday.

Reuters and The Wall Street Journal cited Pakistani security and intelligence officials in their reports, stating that Mehsud was killed in the tribal region of North Waziristan.

"We can confirm Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the drone strike," one senior security official told Reuters.

Al Jazeera reported that Pakistan's Taliban confirmed Mehsud's death. The BBC said a high-ranking Taliban official confirmed the reports.

"Among the dead, who are in large numbers, are Hakimullah's personal bodyguard Tariq Mehsud and his driver Abdullah Mehsud, two of his closest people," a Pakistani intelligence source said, adding that at least 25 others were killed in the strike.

The strike reportedly targeted a compound used by Mehsud in Danday Darpakhel.

Taliban militants said Mehsud's funeral would be held tomorrow, according to Pakistani news site Dawn.

Most news outlets struck a note of caution, noting that Mehsud — who had a $5 million bounty on his head — had been reported dead many times in the past.

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