Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud has succumbed to injuries sustained in a U.S. drone attack earlier this month, the state-run television reported on Sunday in what could be a devastating blow to the militant outfit.
The 28-year-old Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief had died in the home of his father-in-law, PTV quoted local sources in Aurakzai tribal region as saying. The channel also reported that Mehsud was buried in Mamoonzai area of Aurakzai Agency.
However, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters that the government had “no verifiable information” to confirm Mehsud’s death.
The Taliban has denied the reports and said Mehsud was at an undisclosed location.
If reports of Mehsud’s death is true, it will be a major blow to the militant outfit that is yet to come to terms with the death of its former leader Baitullah Mehsud in a similar drone attack in August last year.
Reports have been doing the rounds, particularly in Pakistan’s tribal belt, over the past few days that Mehsud was seriously injured in a U.S. drone attack in Shaktoi area of North Waziristan on January 14 that killed at least 15 militants.