TTP confirms deputy chief Sajna killed in United States drone strike

SAS patrolling in Afghanistan

The deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a suspected us drone strike and a new deputy has been appointed said the Tehrik-e-Taliban paksitan.

He said another commander, Mufti Noor Wali, has now been appointed as the group's deputy chief.

Several of his aides were also killed in the attack.

Pakistani officials had earlier reported unconfirmed reports about Sajna's killing in a U.S. strike.

The illegal narcotics trade funds 65 percent of insurgent activities, and the USA military has recently unleashed a new air campaign to destroy drug labs in a bid to disrupt Taliban financial resources in Helmand, which borders Pakistan.

Lying south to the Taliban's birthplace Kandahar, Helmand remains one of the most volatile provinces in Afghanistan with militants controlling large swaths of land.

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The TTP has been blamed for many suicide bombings and other attacks.

Pakistan opposes drone strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty.

Khalid Mehsood alias Sajna, deputy leader of the TTP, died after the pre-dawn strike on February 8, the militants said in the emailed statement.

"We know that a Taliban fighter killed 16 militiamen fighting alongside government forces, but who these forces belong to, we don't know yet", said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Last month, the United States suspended about $2 billion assistance to Pakistan.

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