Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud reported killed in US drone strike

Pakistan Taliban chiefMehsud's death had been reported in the past also, but he always surfaced after some time. (AP)

Hakimullah Mehsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban, was among six militants killed killed in a US drone strike in the North Waziristan tribal region, Pakistani media reported on Friday night.

Mehsud's uncle, bodyguard Tariq Mehsud and driver Abdullah Mehsud too were killed after the CIA-operated pilotless aircraft targeted a compound in the Danday Darpakhel area, 5 km north of Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan Agency.

The compound was "completely destroyed" after two missiles hit it while an important meeting of the Taliban was under way, Dawn and Geo News reported. The Pakistani Taliban has a central office in the area that Mehsud frequently visited, sources said.

Reuters quoted unnamed senior Taliban and Pakistani sources as saying the Taliban had confirmed Mehsud's death. "Hakimullah Mehsud's funeral is scheduled for 3 pm (on Saturday) in Miranshah," Reuters quoted a source as saying.

AP quoted a US official as saying that the US had received "positive confirmation" on Friday morning that Mehsud had been killed in the strike overnight. Two senior intelligence officials and two top Taliban commanders had seen the remains of Mehsud's body and confirmed his identity, AP said.

If confirmed, Mehsud's death would be the latest in a string of setbacks for the top leadership of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Pakistani and international media have reported Mehsud's death on several occasions in the past, but he has kept re-surfacing.

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