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TTP commander Khan killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan

26 November, 2015

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KARACHI: Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Khan Saeed 'Sajna' was reported killed in a United States (US) drone strike in Afghanistan, the New York Times reports.

At least 12 other militants were killed and 20 had been wounded in the drone strike which took place in Afghanistan's Khost province near the shared border with North Waziristan, the NYT quoted a Pakistani intelligence official as saying.

The NYT report said the death of Sajna was confirmed by another Pakistani intelligence who requested anonymity. Local elders claimed the drone strikes took place during a meeting to resolve differences between various factions of the Taliban.

The claims, however, have not yet been independently verified. Tracking of drone strikes in Afghanistan is patchy since many of them take place in remote regions. There has also been no comment on the matter as yet from American officials, who do not typically comment publicly on drone strikes. The death has not yet been denied so far by the Mehsud faction of the TTP which Sajna heads.

Sajna in 2014 had publicly rejected the TTP's 'central' leader Mullah Fazlullah, saying his own faction would continue fighting by itself, the NYT reported. The break from the central faction occurred after former TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike. Sajna said he made the decision to separate because "the present leadership has lost its path".

A Peshawar-based military official told the NYT that Sajna was a leading figure of the TTP and that both Pakistani and American security forces were after him for a long time.

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