Pakistani Taliban deputy Khalid Mehsud 'killed in drone attack'

SAS officers patrolling in Afghanistan

Mr. Sayed was considered close to the Haqqani network, the militant group that has carried out deadly attacks in Afghanistan and has been a cause of diplomatic tensions between the United States and Pakistan.

His influence can be seen from how he defied Mullah Fazlullah - who officially became the third TTP leader after Hakimullah's death in a drone strike in 2014.

Nasir Khan Janjua, the national security advisor to the Pakistani prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said attempts to defeat the Taliban militarily would lead only to "prolonged agony" and urged Donald Trump's administration to negotiate with the group.

In recent weeks, Kabul has been hit by several deadly assaults, including a massive suicide auto bombing in a crowded central area on January 27 that killed more than 100 people and was claimed by the Taliban.

The Pakistani Taliban says a senior militant, Khalid Mehsud, also known as Commander Sajna, was killed in a USA drone attack.

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Mehsud, also known as Sajna, was killed along with his nephew and two guards, according to The Express Tribune.

"The vehicle was destroyed", an intelligence official told The Express Tribune, adding that there were at least three reported drone strikes on the Pak-Afghan border in 24 hours.

Wali, according to Reuters, will now train militants in South Waziristan, a rugged mountainous region on the Afghan border which has always been home to Pakistani, Afghan, and al Qaeda-linked foreign militants.

Afghan and USA officials have long alleged insurgents use sanctuaries in Pakistan for planning deadly attacks on the other side of the border, charges Islamabad denies.

The border region is off limits to journalists and verifying information independently is hard.

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