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Pakistani Taliban Confirms Deputy Chief Killed In Drone Strike

Khan Said Sanja, also known as Khalid Mehsud.
Khan Said Sanja, also known as Khalid Mehsud.

The Pakistani Taliban says its deputy leader died in a recent U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan.

Azam Tariq Mehsud, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, said on February 12 that the group's deputy chief, Khalid Mehsud, was killed in a strike in the village of Gorwak.

Pakistani security officials earlier reported about the killing of Mehsud, also known as Sajna, in a February 8 U.S. strike in Afghanistan's Paktika Province, near the border with Pakistan.

Mehsud said that Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah appointed another commander, Mufti Noor Wali, as the extremist group's new deputy chief.

Sajna is believed to be involved in the attack on a Pakistani naval base in the southern city of Karachi in 2011 and is also credited with staging a jailbreak in the northwestern city of Bannu in 2012.

Pakistani Taliban militants have been waging a campaign of bombings and other attacks on Pakistani security forces.

Pakistan opposes U.S. drone strikes on its territory, saying they violate its sovereignty.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa
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