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TTP confirms Waliur Rehman's death; suspends talks

Updated May 30, 2013

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) confirmed to Dawn.com on Thursday that the deputy leader of the militant organisation, Waliur Rehman, was killed in a US-led drone strike on Wednesday and further announced that the talks with the government stood suspended.

TTP also announced that the killing would be avenged.

“We are suspending all kinds of contacts and revoke the peace talks offer with the government, soon we shall be responding with full force," TTP spokeperson Ehsanullah Ehsan told Dawn.com adding that,“on one hand the Pakistani government is advocating the mantra of peace talks, and on the other it is colluding with the United States and killing the Taliban leadership."

Earlier Pakistani intelligence officials had said the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan's deputy leader was buried at an undisclosed location after his death in a US drone strike.

Khan Said aka Sajana Mehsud was reportedly nominated to succeed Rehman as the deputy of the TTP. Said is believed to be a close aide of the former deputy, Rehman, who was killed in a US-led drone strike on Wednesday.

When asked about the replacement Ehsan declined to comment and said, “No I can not confirm yet, who will be taking over, the Taliban shura has not decided about it yet,” he added

The US had accused Rehman of involvement in a 2009 suicide attack in Afghanistan that killed seven CIA employees.

Rehman's killing could rattle the incoming government’s goal of negotiating with the Taliban.

Rehman had previously been considered amenable to talks.

Two intelligence officials say informants on the ground told them Rehman was buried Wednesday night. Two militants claimed they attended the funeral. All four spoke on condition of anonymity.