PESHAWAR: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Mehsud Halqa has appointed Maulvi Khatir as acting chief of their faction after TTP’s deputy chief Khan Said Sajna was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in the Pak-Afghan border region late on Thursday night.
Sources said that at least nine close associates of Sajna were also killed in the strike which occurred in Kharh Tangi area of Afghanistan.
The death has not yet been denied so far by the Mehsud faction of the TTP which Sajna heads.
Said, who is 36, is believed to be involved in the attack on a Naval base in Karachi and is also credited with masterminding a 2012 jailbreak in which the Taliban freed 400 inmates in the northwestern city of Bannu.
“Sajna has no basic education, conventional or religious, but he is battle-hardened and has experience of fighting in Afghanistan,” an official had said earlier.
On Thursday, missiles fired from US drone slammed into a vehicle in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktia province, killing four militants, said Shah Mohammad Aryan, a spokesman for the provincial chief police.
The strike took place in the mountainous Barmal district of Paktia province, where fighters from both the Haqqani network and Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Taliban militant group are believed to operate.
Confirmation of the strikes came shortly before Afghanistan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai arrived in Islamabad for talks with Pakistani officials.
Friday’s visit came days after Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua travelled to Afghanistan and met with Afghan officials following series of militant attacks in Kabul that killed over 200 people. Janjua’s visit to Kabul was part of a larger dialogue many Afghans saw it as a response to their accusations against Islamabad.