Pak Taliban chief’s cousin killed in US drone attack

Islamabad: A cousin of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud was among militants killed during a coordinated strike by US drones in South Waziristan tribal region, media reports said today.

Wali Mohammad alias Toofan was killed when the drones targeted three compounds in the mountainous Babar area in South Waziristan, security officials were quoted as saying by the media.

Toofan, 26, was related to both Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain, a second cousin of the Pakistani Taliban chief and head of the wing responsible for suicide attacks.

Toofan was recently made the head of the Taliban's "fidai wing" after Qari Hussain was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The drones fired at least 10 missiles that destroyed three compounds.

Media reports said between 10 and 17 militants were killed in the strikes.

One of the compounds that was targeted was being used by Punjabi Taliban leader Qari Imran. Most of those killed belonged to the Mehsud tribe.

On January 3, warlord Mullah Nazir was killed along with 12 fighters in a US drone strike in South Waziristan.

He was the top militant commander in the region and was considered to be part of the "good Taliban" as he had finalised a peace deal with the security forces in 2007.