DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Khalid Mehsud alias Khan Said Sajna, a US-designated global terrorist and deputy ‘commander’ of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a drone attack inside Afghanistan on Friday, multiple sources claimed.

Sajna’s three accomplices also died in the attack.

The sources said that Sajna along with three guards was driving a double-cabin pickup in the Morgha area of Afghanistan’s Paktika province when a US drone fired two missiles at it.

The sources in militant outfits and some tribal people who had taken refuge in Afghanistan, confirmed Sajna’s killing in the attack.

A security official in Peshawar said they had yet to receive credible reports about Sajna’s killing in the drone strike. He said that one of the persons killed had been identified as Ismail who was a nephew of Sajna.

It is worth mentioning that several local and foreign media outlets had reported that Sajna was killed in a US drone strike in Khost province of Afghanistan in November 2015.

On Thursday, a US drone fired missiles at a compound in Gorwek area across the border near Zero Point. Three militants belonging to the Haqqani network were killed in the attack, according to unconfirmed reports.

Morgha lies on the border with South Waziristan Agency where TTP and other groups have sanctuaries.

Sajna was also head of the TTP Mehsud chapter. He was appointed deputy commander of TTP about one year ago after ending differences with Mullah Fazlullah who expelled him from the group. Sajna was believed to be mastermind of attack on the Mehran Naval Base, Karachi, in 2011 and jailbreak in Bannu in 2012.

The US government declared Sajna a terrorist in October 2014.

The US has intensified attacks on militants in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and its adjacent areas in Afghanistan after announcement of the country’s new strategy on South Asia by President Donald Trump in August last year.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2018

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