Insurgent leader Hakimullah Mehsud has been killed in a US drone strike, security sources and a senior Taliban commander said.
For the first time US politicians heard from civilian victims of their controversial drone attack programme in north-west Pakistan.
US accused of carrying out 'war crimes' in Yemen and Pakistan in major drone report
The funeral of a Taliban leader killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan yesterday is expected to take place today.
Hakimullah Mehsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban was one of the country's most wanted men with a $5 million US bounty on his head.
Read: Profile: Hakimullah Mehsud
The Pakistani Taliban has confirmed the death of its leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike today, Reuters has reported.
A senior Taliban source said the leader's funeral would be held in North Waziristan tomorrow.
Pakistani intelligence officials have said that Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was today killed in a drone strike, although it is not the first time his death has been reported:
- Hakimullah Mehsud took over as head of the Pakistani Taliban in August 2009 after the death of former leader Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike.
- He is the commander of Taliban insurgents in their war against the Pakistani state, in which thousands have been killed.
- Has been falsely reported to have been killed several times in the past.
- Has a $5m US reward on his head.
- Believed to have been born in 1979.
- Hails from the town of Hangu in northern Pakistan.
Several intelligence, army and militant sources across Pakistan today confirmed Mehsud was killed in the strike in the lawless North Waziristan region.
The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, was among four people killed in a US drone strike in the North Waziristan region today, security sources have said.
The US government only acknowledges its role in targeted killings in general terms, refusing to take responsibility for individual strikes or provide casualty figures, including civilian deaths, Human Rights Watch said in their report on drone attacks in Yemen
The Yemeni authorities have been almost as silent, the rights organisation said. Both governments have declined to comment on the six strikes that Human Rights Watch investigated.
An interactive map published by Amnesty International details recent drone attacks the human rights organisation says the US carried out in northwest Pakistan.
Amnesty International found evidence that a number of civilians, including an elderly woman and a group of young labourers, were killed in drone strikes in North Waziristan between January 2012 and August this year.
Researchers from Human Rights Watch have called on the US to assess the impact of drone attacks in Yemen, which they say are in "clear violation of the laws of war."
The calls come as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released two reports investigating who died as a result of the attacks in Yemen and Pakistan.
– Letta Tayler, researcher Human Rights Watch
The US says it is taking all possible precautions during targeted killings, but it has unlawfully killed civilians and struck questionable military targets in Yemen.
Yemenis told us that these strikes make them fear the US as much as they fear al-Qaeda.
The US should investigate attacks that kill civilians and hold those responsible for violations to account. It's long past time for the US to assess the legality of its targeted killings, as well as the broader impact of these strikes on civilians.