But late on Friday, several intelligence, army and militant sources across Pakistan confirmed he had been killed in the drone strike in the lawless North Waziristan region.
“We can confirm Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the drone strike,” said one senior security official.
Mehsud took over the Pakistani Taliban in August 2009 after a drone strike killed the previous leader, his mentor.
Four security officials confirmed his death to Reuters. His bodyguard and driver were also among the dead, they said.
“Among the dead, who are in large numbers, are Hakimullah’s personal bodyguard Tariq Mehsud and his driver Abdullah Mehsud, two of his closest people,” said one intelligence source, adding at least 25 people were killed in the strike.
There was no official comment from the government or from the Taliban.
- Drone Strike Hits Compound Used by Pakistani Taliban Leader (nytimes.com)
- Drone strike kills Pakistani Taliban chief: sources (dailystar.com.lb)
- Pakistan Taliban Leader Killed By US Drone (news.sky.com)
- Officials: Leader of Pakistani Taliban among those killed in suspected US drone strike (vancouverdesi.com)