Drone strike near Pak-Afghan border takes out Hakimullah’s aide

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A close aide of former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud, Khawrey Mehsud, was killed in a drone strike near the Pak-Afghan border.

According to TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani, Khawrey Mehsud was killed in a drone attack in Kurram Agency near the Pak-Afghan border on March 18. Two other militants were also killed in the drone attack.

Khawrey Mehsud was a close aide of Hakimullah and was said to have taken part in terrorist activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal areas as it borders three Afghan provinces and at one point was one of the key routes for militant movement across the border.

The region was claimed by the military to have been cleared of insurgents during an operation a couple of years ago, however, militants still carry out sectarian attacks and also target security forces occasionally.

Kurram tribal agency is adjacent to North Waziristan region where the Operation Zarb-e-Azb is in progress against Taliban and other insurgent groups.

Drone attacks are widely unpopular across Pakistan and according to survey conducted in June last year, 66 per cent of the country’s citizens oppose the strikes.