MIRANSHAH: Commander Wali Muhammad aka Tufan Mehsud, a key Pakistani Taliban figure, has reportedly been killed in a US drone strike which also killed 11 other people, sources said on Sunday.
According to reports, the militant commander was a close relative of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud and succeeded another commander Qari Hussian following his killing.
AFP adds: US drones fired a volley of missiles at militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least 12 Taliban fighters near the Afghan border, security officials said.
The missile attack took place in Babar Ghar village in South Waziristan, a tribal district bordering Afghanistan which is a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
"US drones fired several missiles at two militant compounds. At least 12 militants have been killed and several others were wounded," a security official in Miranshah told AFP under condition of anonymity.
The official earlier said eight militants were killed. "There are members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) among those who have been killed," he said, adding that a close relative of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was among the dead.
"Most of the militants were from Punjabi Taliban group and a close relative of Hakimullah Mehsud," the official said.
Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar confirmed the drone attacks and casualties.
Intelligence officials in Miranshah said that militants had died after US drones fired up to 10 missiles on three militant compounds in the Babar Ghar attack, but the security officials could not verify that account.
Residents said that militants had cordoned off the area and were looking for more dead or wounded in the debris.
January 06, 2013 - Updated 2015 PKT