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Pakistani Taliban Confirms Killing of Top Commander

  • VOA News

In this photo taken on July 28, 2011, Waliur Rehman, the Pakistani Taliban's number two commander, talks to the Associated Press in Shawal area of South Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan.

In this photo taken on July 28, 2011, Waliur Rehman, the Pakistani Taliban's number two commander, talks to the Associated Press in Shawal area of South Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban has confirmed that its number two commander was killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike on Wednesday.

A Taliban spokesman, Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, said Wali-ur-Rehman is among six members of the militant group killed by a missile strike in the lawless North Waziristan region of northwestern Pakistan. Ihsan, who spoke to reporters by phone from an unidentified location, held Pakistan's government responsible for the attack.

The U.S. government had offered up to $5 million for information leading to Rehman's location, while Pakistan's government had a $500,000 bounty on him.

Ihsan threatened revenge for the killing of Rehman and said the Pakistani Taliban is withdrawing its offer of peace talks with the government.

Pakistan has expressed concerns about drone attacks, saying such strikes are counterproductive, kill innocent civilians and violate national sovereignty.

Incoming Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called U.S. drone strikes a challenge to his country's sovereignty.

U.S. President Barack Obama indicated last week he is scaling back the drone program.

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