Sixteen Afghan Pro-Government Fighters Killed In Taliban Attack

Officials: US drone strike kills 7 in Pakistani tribal area

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Pakistani intelligence officials say a USA drone strike has hit a militant compound in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, killing seven militants from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

Khalid Mehsud had been the deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban since November 2013, when then-leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed, also by a United States drone strike. Three of Sajna's guards were also killed in the strike.

The terrorist group nominated Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud to take his place, the statement added.

In recent weeks, Kabul has been hit by several deadly assaults, including a massive suicide vehicle bombing in a crowded central area on January 27 that killed more than 100 people and was claimed by the Taliban.

Sajna, who was one of top TTP leaders, also headed Taliban militants from the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan.

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In December, gunmen from the militant group stormed a college in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 36.

Local media had earlier quoted unnamed Taliban leaders that Sajna came under the drone attack in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province, bordering Pakistan last week.

The TTP has recently curtailed activities because of a successful Pakistani military offensive, and Mehsud's death is expected to further weaken the Islamist group.

Pakistan denies sheltering militants.

His influence can be seen from how he defied Mullah Fazlullah - who officially became the third TTP leader after Hakimullah's death in a drone strike in 2014.

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