Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, is being reported as killed in a drone strike yesterday. That would be a major blow to the Taliban just as they are entering talks with Pakistani officials. Hakimullah Mehsud is suspected of being behind the bombing attempt in Times Square back in 2010. He has also overseen the killings of thousands of Pakistan civilians, mostly by suicide bombers.
This is considered a major victory for the CIA, just as they are coming under tougher scrutiny for the amount of civilians being killed by drone strikes.
There have been reports of his death several times before, but this time, there is confirmation coming from everywhere, including the Pakistani Taliban themselves, “Hakimullah has been martyred.” The White House and the CIA refused comment but an American defense official, who claims to have knowledge of the attack, says he is confident that Hakimullah Mehsud is dead.
Al Jazeera Television network, quoting Shahidullah Shahid, Taliban spokesman as confirming that Mehsud is dead. Baitullah Mehsud, who was the predecessor of Hakimullah Mehsud , was killed by the CIA back in 2009.
Pakistan officials say that CIA operated drones, fired at least four missiles at the compound built for Mehsud. Another Pakistani official said that 5 militants were killed, including Mehsud, his uncle, and a bodyguard, and that two more were wounded.
The drone attack has a somewhat personal undertone. Mehsud, directed an attack on the CIA base in Eastern Afghanistan back in 2009, that killed 7 CIA agents and two others.
Mehsud’s death is getting mixed reviews in Pakistan, where many feel safer now that Mehsud is gone and some are afraid it could scuttle peace talks between the Taliban and Pakistan.
Steven Ahle is the Editor of Red Statements.