Nation & World News

Pakistani Taliban Chief Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

By Scott Neuman on November 2nd, 2013

The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, U.S. and Taliban officials tell NPR and other news organizations.

“We confirm with great sorrow that our esteemed leader was martyred in a drone attack,” a senior Taliban commander was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The Associated Press reports that “a senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed the strike overnight, saying the U.S. received positive confirmation Friday morning that he had been killed.” The news agency said the CIA and the White House declined to comment.

An NPR producer in Islamabad, citing Pakistani intelligence sources, reports that Mehsud was in North Waziristan to attend a meeting at a mosque in the Darpa Dandakhel area of Miranshah when he was killed.

It’s worth pointing out that in the past, initial reports of senior al-Qaida and Taliban leaders being killed in drone strikes have frequently proved wrong.

The death of Mehsud “would be a major blow to the group that comes just a day after the [Pakistani] government said it started peace talks with the militants,” the AP says.

Mehsud, “believed to be behind a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square in 2010 as well as brazen attacks inside Pakistan, was widely reported to have been killed in 2010, but later resurfaced. The tribal areas where the drone attacks occur are dangerous, making it difficult for journalists to independently confirm information,” according to the AP.

The BBC says four missiles were fired from the drone at a vehicle used by Mehsud. However, The New York Times reports that Mehsud was killed “at compound that had been built for Mr. Mehsud about a year ago, and which he had used intermittently since then.”

The BBC says:

“Four other people were killed in the strike, including two of Mehsud’s bodyguards, intelligence sources say.

“Several previous claims of his death, made by US and Pakistani intelligence sources, have proven untrue.”

Reuters reports:

“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.”

Update at 7:00 p.m. ET. NSC ‘Not In A Position To Confirm’:

National Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden tells NPR: “We have seen the reports that Hakimullah Mahsud may have been killed in Pakistan. We are not in a position to confirm those reports, but if true, this would be serious loss for the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

A photo apparently showing a Ferguson police officer wearing an "I am Darren Wilson" bracelet.

Ferguson Police Will Be Banned From Wearing ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Bracelets

In a letter, the Justice Department said the accessory was “exacerbating an already tense atmosphere.” After a talk with the department, the police chief said he would institute a new policy.


Bill Gross

The ‘Bond King’ Leaves His $2 Trillion Kingdom

Bill Gross built Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, into a $2 trillion powerhouse. But this week, he abruptly left, roiling the bond-investing world.


Thailand's Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, center, at the government house in Bangkok earlier this month. Prayuth, who seized power in May, has threatened to personally take over the writing of soap operas on Thai television.

Thai Leader Threatens New Takeover: The TV Soaps

Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha says he’s ordered a complete rewrite of Thailand’s daily fare of infidelity and violence, and if it’s not done right, he’s threatened to do the job himself.


A Parrot Bebop drone flies during a demonstration in May in San Francisco.

Lights, Camera, Drones: Hollywood’s Lens Gets A Little Larger

The FAA is granting six movie and TV production companies permission to use drones for filming. The move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.


A screen shot provided by FlightAware shows airline traffic at 10:20 a.m. EDT Friday over the United States. A fire at a Chicago-area air traffic control facility has grounded hundreds of flights.

Fire Grounds Hundreds Of Flights At Chicago Airports

The fire in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Ill., caused numerous flight cancellations at O’Hare and Midway.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments