User:Am90UOW/Drone strike reported to kill Pakistani Taliban leader

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

MQ-9 Reaper 2

Deputy leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, Wali-ur-Rehman, has been reported killed in a CIA drone strike on Wednesday, in the Waziristan area in northern Pakistan. Pakistani officials told Reuters of Rehman's death and said that six other people were also killed in the strike.

This is the first alleged drone attack since US President Barrack Obama's speech at the National Defense University last week, in which he stated drone operations would be scaled back and come under greater oversight from the government with responsibility for drone missions to be shifted from the CIA to the Department of Defense.

A senior Pakistani Taliban (TTP) spokesperson told the BBC that Rehman was killed, although the Taliban have not officially confirmed his death. The US government had placed a $5 million bounty on Rehman, and has accused him of involvement in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, including one bombing resulting in the deaths of seven CIA agents. White House spokesperson Jay Carney also said that Rehman "participated in... horrific attacks against Pakistani civilians and soldiers."

The BBC reports that this is at least the third occasion Rehman has been reported killed in a drone strike.

The US government has not confirmed the strike, but said if Rehman has been killed the Pakistani Taliban have lost their chief military strategist.

The alleged strike comes just days before the Prime Minister-elect of Pakistan, Nawaz_Sharif, takes office. Sharif has previously said that drone strikes constitute a challenge to Pakistan's sovereignty. The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "serious concerns," over the drone strike in a statement on Wednesday, saying that drone strikes "entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty".