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Drone strike kills senior Taliban leader

worlddroneKARACHI — A senior Pakistani Taliban leader has been killed in a suspected US drone strike in the north-west of the country, Taliban sources told the BBC.

The Pakistani Taliban leadership has not yet officially confirmed the death of the man, named as Waliur Rehman.

Earlier, Pakistani security officials said a local Taliban commander was among the casualties in the raid.

Missiles hit a house close to the town of Miranshah, in North Waziristan, early today.

The strike comes a week after President Barack Obama issued new guidelines for tighter scrutiny of the drone programme and stricter targeting rules.

A senior Taliban source in Miranshah told the BBC that one of those killed in the drone strike was the No. 2 commander of the Pakistani Taliban, Waliur Rehman.

US drone strikes are a major point of contention in Pakistan, and were a key issue in its recent elections.

A Pakistani foreign ministry official condemned the strike – the first for almost six weeks – as a breach of sovereignty, Reuters news agency reported.

“Any drone strike is against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and we condemn it,” the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

The latest attack comes at a particularly sensitive time, the BBC’s Richard Galpin in Islamabad says,

Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League, is about to form a government following elections earlier this month. (BBC)

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