Latest Drone Strike: Top Taliban Figure Killed?

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons) BY ELIZABETH HAGDEORN Reports today of a US

drone strike out of northwest Pakistan — killing between four and seven, including a high ranking Taliban leader Pakistani intelligence officials say an unmanned aircraft launched two missiles at a house in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan — a Taliban stronghold on the Afghan border (Via Google Maps)  The drone strike reportedly killed the Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command, Wali-Ur Rehman (Via CBS)  Rehman was the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the TTP He was seen as the more moderate voice to the the militant group — more likely to engage in peace talks than the group's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud

(Via Al Jazeera)  The director of an Islamabad-based think tank told The Wall Street Journal, "I would rather have Wali ur Rehman alive than dead This now strengthens the Hakimullah Mehsud clan Wali ur Rehman is a reasonable man It is possible to negotiate with him" The Taliban, however, denied to Pakistani newspaper, The News International, that Rehman was dead

No comment yet from the US The Pakistani government has condemned the attacks, with Pakistan's Foreign Ministry writing: "Drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law" (Via The New York Times) Pakistan's newly elected government is set to take over in a few days It's incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has repeatedly called on Washington to end drone strikes in his country

(Via BBC)  This drone strike is the first since President Obama pledged less than a week ago to scale back drone attacks against suspected terrorists (Via The White House)  Pakistani intelligence officials tell the Washington Post three children were among the injured in Wednesday's drone strike

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