Pakistan Taliban says deputy chief killed in U.S. drone strike

Afghans feel abandoned by struggling govt WP

A spokesman for the militant group, who's aim is to bring down the Pakistan government said the drone strike happened in the North Waziristan region, on the Pakistani side of the border.

Spokesman for the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mohammad Khorasani said in a statement sent to the local media that Sajna, deputy chief of the group, was killed in the US drone attack in North Waziristan tribal region on February 8.

The slain commander was also believed to be closely linked to the Haqqani network blamed for staging high-profile terrorist attacks against local and USA -led forces in Afghanistan. His elimination, analysts say, is a major blow to the TPP.

He said another commander, Mufti Noor Wali, has now been appointed as the group's deputy chief.

Washington has designated Sajna a global terrorist. However, another report claimed that the USA drone strike was conducted inside Afghan territory and it had killed at least three suspected militants linked with the Afghan Haqqani Network.

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However, Pakistani military officials say major ground and air offensives launched in 2014 have mostly cleared the tribal belt and construction of a robust fence on the Pakistani side of the frontier is now under way to deter illegal cross border movements.

The TTP has been blamed for many suicide bombings and other attacks.

Lying south to the Taliban's birthplace Kandahar, Helmand remains one of the most volatile provinces in Afghanistan with militants controlling large swaths of land.

But militants have reacted violently, launching a wave of deadly attacks across the war-torn country, including in Kabul, in a devastating display of defiance.

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