A month after reports that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani was killed in air strikes in North Waziristan, news reports said Bhittani was shot dead on Monday by unidentified gunmen.

The government has neither confirmed nor denied his death. Bhittani who was briefly the TTP’s chief after a drone strike killed Hakimullah Mehsud on November 1, was reportedly killed in Darga Mandi in North Waziristan.

The vehicle he was travelling in was attacked and along with the TTP leader, two others died as well. None of this could be independently confirmed. In mid-January there were reports that Bhittani was killed along with 33 Uzbek nationals and three Germans in night- long air strikes in North Waziristan Agency since January 20.

Along with Bhittani, it was stated that other “important” terrorists Wali Mohammed, Noor Badshah and Maulvi Farhad Uzbek also died in air strikes after the attack in Bannu Cantonment which killed 20 Frontier Corps men and the blast near the General Headquarters of the army in Rawalpindi which claimed at least 13 lives.