Pakistani Taliban confirm death of second in command

AFP , Thursday 30 May 2013

Waliur Rahman died in a missile attack in North Waziristan tribal area on Wednesday

The Pakistani Taliban on Thursday confirmed their second in command was killed in a US drone strike in the country's lawless tribal northwest.

"Our six men including Waliur Rehman were killed in this attack," Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan told AFP, officially confirming the death of the key commander for the first time.

Rehman, the second-in-command of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who had a $5 million US government bounty on his head, died in a missile attack in North Waziristan tribal area on Wednesday.

Ehsan hailed Rehman as a "martyr" and said the TTP were withdrawing their offer to hold talks with the government after the killing.

"We will fulfil his mission. We withdraw our offer for dialogue with the government of Pakistan because they (government) are also equally responsible for this attack," he said.

Washington had accused Rehman of organising attacks against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and also wanted him in connection with a suicide attack on an American base in Afghanistan in 2009 that killed seven CIA agents.

Rehman had been a key figure in the TTP since its inception in 2007 and was second-in-command of the national hierarchy behind Hakimullah Mehsud, as well as leading the group in South Waziristan.

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