The chief of the Pakistani Taliban was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Friday, security sources and a senior Taliban commander said, in a major blow to the country’s most feared militant group.
Hakimullah Mehsud was one of Pakistan’s most wanted men with a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head. He led an increasingly violent insurgency from a secret hideout in North Waziristan, the Taliban’s mountainous stronghold on the Afghan border.
“We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack,” a senior Taliban commander said.
Mehsud’s funeral will be held on Saturday in Miranshah, the Taliban commander said – a high-profile event likely to stir tensions further in the already highly volatile region.
The death of a man whose name became synonymous with the escalating insurgency in the nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Pakistani Taliban.
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