Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

United States drone strike kills 7 in Pakistani tribal area

United States drone strike kills 7 in Pakistani tribal area

A spokesperson of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said that Khan Saeed Mehsud alias Khalid Sajna, the deputy chief of the group, was killed on February 8 in the drone attack in North Waziristan, on the Pakistani side of the border.

Tariq says Wali enjoys the backing of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

Recently, the terrorist attacks by the Taliban had increased in Afghanistan leading the United States to consider "unilateral steps in areas of divergence" to counter the militants.

Pakistani officials had earlier reported unconfirmed reports about Sajna's killing in a USA strike.

In recent weeks, Kabul has been hit by several deadly assaults, including a massive suicide auto bombing in a crowded central area on January 27 that killed more than 100 people and was claimed by the Taliban.

In December a year ago, members of the group attacked a college in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, shooting dead at least nine people and injuring 36.

Khalid Mehsud had been the deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban since November 2013, when then-leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed, also by a U.S. drone strike.

"We know that a Taliban fighter killed 16 militiamen fighting alongside government forces, but who these forces belong to, we don't know yet", said the spokesman, Omar Zwak.

The comments come amid mounting tension between Washington and Islamabad after Mr Trump last month suspended aid and accused Pakistan of offering a "safe haven" to terrorists operating in Afghanistan.

Afghan and USA officials have long alleged insurgents use sanctuaries in Pakistan for planning deadly attacks on the other side of the border, charges Islamabad denies.

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