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TTP confirm passing away of Hakimullah Mehsud in US drone attack

Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan  confirm death of Hakimullah Mehsud in US drone attackTTP confirm death of Hakimullah Mehsud in US drone attack

 PESHAWAR: A US drone strike on Friday 1ST November 2013 killed Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud near Miranshah area of North Waziristan, security and insurgent sources said.

Hakimullah Mehsud, believed to be aged about 34, died along with three others when a US drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in a compound in the village of Dandey Darpakhel, five kilometres (three miles) north of Miranshah, the major town of North Waziristan, officials said.

Security and intelligence officials confirmed the death, while a senior Taliban source said Mehsud was killed along with his bodyguard, driver and uncle. Another Taliban commander said the funeral would be held on Saturday 2nd November 2013.

It is the second important gust to the TTP in less than a month, following the capture of another senior commander by US forces in Afghanistan.

After a bloody six-year TTP insurgency which has left thousands of soldiers, police and civilians dead, the government has been binding towards talks with the militants.

Hakimullah Mehsud took control of the TTP after a bitter fight for the leadership following the death of founder Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike in August 2009. Hakimullah Mehsud was broadly reported to have been killed in 2010 but later resurfaced.

Hundreds of civilians have died in the attacks, according to various estimates, prompting outrage in Pakistan and leading critics to accuse the US of breaching international law.

A major report last week from rights campaigners Amnesty International said the US may be responsible of war crimes, highlighting two attacks which it said appeared to kill only civilians.

The Pakistani government officially condemns drone strikes as a violation of its sovereignty and last week PM Nawaz Sharif urged US President Barack Obama to halt the programme during a meeting in Washington.