Pakistan Taliban chief’s cousin killed in US drone attack: Media

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SummaryA cousin of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud was among militants killed during a co-ordinated strike by US drones in South Waziristan tribal region, media reports said

A cousin of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud was among militants killed during a co-ordinated strike by US drones in South Waziristan tribal region, media reports said Monday.

Wali Mohammad alias Toofan was killed when the drones targeted three compounds in the mountainous Babar area in South Waziristan, security officials were quoted as saying by the media.

Toofan, 26, was related to both Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain, a second cousin of the Pakistani Taliban chief and head of the wing responsible for suicide attacks.

Toofan was recently made the head of the Taliban’s “fidai wing” after Qari Hussain was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The drones fired at least 10 missiles that destroyed three compounds.

Media reports said between 10 and 17 militants were killed in the strikes.

One of the compounds that was targeted was being used by Punjabi Taliban leader Qari Imran. Most of those killed belonged to the Mehsud tribe.

On January 3, warlord Mullah Nazir was killed along with 12 fighters in a US drone strike in South Waziristan.

He was the top militant commander in the region and was considered to be part of the “good Taliban” as he had finalised a peace deal with the security forces in 2007.

‘Not received serious response for peace talks’

The Taliban Monday claimed it had not received a “serious response” from the Pakistan government to its offer for peace talks, which could be jeopardized by the stance adopted by the army. The outlawed outfit clarified its position on the proposed peace talks in an email sent out to the reporters by spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan, who said the group had not got “any serious response on our offer for talks”.

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