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
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 28, 2014 -- Updated 1847 GMT (0247 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 28, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT