Skip to main content

Sources: Pakistani Taliban leader killed in drone strike

By CNN Staff
November 2, 2013 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud killed in drone strike, officials say
  • Sources: Three other people killed in strike in northwestern Pakistan
  • Gunmen also opened fire on a vehicle, killing six
  • Police suspect it was a case of sectarian violence

(CNN) -- Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud -- once charged by the United States for his alleged involvement in a deadly 2009 attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan -- was killed in a drone strike in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, senior U.S. and Pakistani officials told CNN.

Three other people were killed in the strike, Pakistani intelligence sources and tribal officials said, describing the incident as a suspected U.S. drone strike in a remote area of Pakistan's Waziristan region, a Taliban stronghold bordering Afghanistan.

One missile hit a compound, and another struck a car nearby, the Pakistani sources said.

The government of Pakistan issued a statement through its foreign ministry saying it "strongly condems the U.S. drone strike" in Waziristan. The statement made no mention of Mehsud, and it was not clear whether the ministry knew of reports that he had been killed when the statement was released.

"The Government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications," the statement said.

Mehsud was buried, though the body was unrecognizable, Taliban sources said. The organization was scheduled to meet Saturday to pick a new leader, the sources said.

This is not the first time Mehsud -- who took the reins of the Pakistani Taliban in 2009 -- has been reported killed after a drone strike. In February 2010, multiple sources said he had died after being hit in a drone strike in Pakistan a month earlier.

But reports that he was alive surfaced in April of that year, and in May 2010 he appeared in a video vowing attacks on major U.S. cities.

The Pakistani Taliban, which has long been conducting an insurgency against the Pakistani government, claimed responsibility for a December 2009 suicide bombing at the United States' Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan. The attack killed seven U.S. citizens, including five CIA officers, and a member of Jordanian intelligence.

The U.S. Justice Department charged Mehsud in the summer of 2010 for his alleged involvement in the attack, and U.S. officials offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The group also claimed responsibility for a failed May 2010 attempt to detonate a car bomb in New York's Times Square. The following September, the U.S. State Department designated the Pakistani Taliban a foreign terrorist organization.

Mehsud took over from Baitullah Mehsud, a fellow clan member, in 2009 after the latter was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Elsewhere Friday, armed militants killed six Shiite Muslims in Pakistan's volatile Balochistan province, an incident suspected to be "sectarian terrorism," police said.

A seventh person was injured.

Four gunmen on two motorcycles opened fire at a vehicle carrying seven Shiite Hazaras in Bolan district, police official Ghullam Hussain said.

The shooting was indiscriminate, Hussain said. Three of the victims died at the scene and three more on the way to the hospital.

"The incident seems to be a sectarian terrorism," he said.

The attackers sped away after the attack.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

CNN's Jake Tapper and journalist Saleem Mesud and journalist Shaista Aziz in Islamabad contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1031 GMT (1831 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park, said to be a pet project of secretive young leader Kim Jong Un.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex in France, agents caught up with Ibrahim Boudina, a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back Syrian-schooled terror to Europe.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0002 GMT (0802 HKT)
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about the delicate business of trying to get a hostage home alive.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
The accidental killing of a gun instructor raises an "absurd question," writes Mel Robbins.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT