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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Senior Pakistani Taliban leader is killed in U.S. drone strike: TV

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 16, IRNA -- A senior leader of Pakistani Taliban, Qari Hussain Mehsud, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan tribal region, local television channels reported on Friday.

There is no official confirmation of the report.

TV channels reported that Hussain was killed in U.S. strike near Mir Ali in North Waziristan on October 2nd. Taliban have also not yet confirmed the report.

Hussain had been running a training camp for suicide bombers in South Waziristan and had been active in violent acts against the Pakistani government.

He had claimed responsibility of two suicide attacks on the procession of Shia Muslims in the cities of Lahore and Quetta last month in an audio message.

He was a cousin of Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

There had been reports of his death on several occasions in the past but those reported proved to be incorrect. Hussain was reported dead after his home was destroyed in January 2008, but in May 2008 appeared in front of Pakistani media to deny the reports. He was later reported killed in a 23 June 2009 air strike at

Makeen in South Waziristan, but then phoned reporters to prove he was alive.

A few days after the airstrike, the Pakistan government announced a 10 million rupee reward for the killing or capture of Hussain, among other Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan commanders. On November 2, 2009 the reward was increased to 50 million rupees ($600,000). Analysts say that if confirmed, it would be a serious blow to the TTP.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30021408

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