Key TTP commander Waliur Rehman, 5 others killed in NWA drone strike


Waliur Rehman, a key commander of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and five of his accomplices were killed while several others were injured in a US drone attack in North Waziristan Agency on Wednesday.

The condition of the injured was said to be critical and it was expected that the number of the attack victims would increase.

An official in Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan, said two missiles were fired at a compound of militants in Qazi Kot village near ChashmaBridge in the early hours of Wednesday.

Rescue activities began very late as there was a US drone hovering above the area for a couple of hours. Later, the militants from all surrounding areas took the bodies out of the debris.

The compound set in a house abandoned by tribesmen was being used by militants belonging to the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan. Soon after the attack, tribesmen in Miranshah said the leading member of the TTP Rehman was present in the compound when it was attacked. However, Rehman’s death could not be confirmed.

Laterin the afternoon, an official in the political administration of North Waziristan confirmed Rehman’s assassination. The official said beside Rehman, three other important TTP commanders were killed in the drone attack.

After Naik Mohammad and Baitullah Mehsud, Rahman become the third top TTP commander to have been killed in a US drone strike. TTP chief Hakim Ullah Mehsud however survived such an attack sometime in 2009-2010.

Associated with the Jamiat Tulba Islam (JTI) of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl during his student life Rehman was very close to Fazlur Rehman. Soon after Baitullah’s assassination, Rehman had made attempts to become TTP chief but he was blocked by Qari Hussain, the chief of suicide bombers wing of the banned TTP. Hussain had backed his cousin Hakimullah Mehsud for the post.

Analysts believe Rehman’s death was a severe blow to the TTP. However, they think the TTP might unite after Rehman’s death as after him, no one could challenge Hakimullah.


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