The prohibited Pakistani Taliban confirmed Monday (12/2) its deputy leader was among several militants killed in a recent American drone attack near the disastrous Pakistani border with Afghanistan.
In announcing the death of Khan Said Sajna, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, TTP, said the drone attack before dawn occurred on February 8 in Gorwek, North Waziristan.
Although American officials rarely respond to drone anti-terrorism operations in Pakistan, the isolated tribes there and the Pakistani intelligence officials at that time confirmed Sajna and his troops were returning from the nearby Khost province of Afghanistan when missiles fired by unmanned drones about their vehicles.
The slain commander is believed to have taken refuge in Khost da n has links to the Haqqani network accused of launching a broad-based terrorist attack against local troops and US-led forces in Afghanistan. His assassination, analysts say, is a big blow to the TTP.
Sajna is wanted by Washington for his role in terrorist attacks against Americans. Pakistani authorities have also searched for plans for a major terrorist attack in the country and masterminded a 2012 jail prison in the northwestern town of Bannu that frees 400 inmates including prominent militants. [gp]