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Officials: US drone kills Pakistani Taliban leader

Friday - 11/1/2013, 4:10pm  ET

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistani intelligence officials say five suspected militants -- including the leader of the Pakistani Taliban -- have been killed in a U.S. drone strike.

A senior U.S. intelligence official says the United States received confirmation this morning that Hakimullah Mehsud was among the dead. Two Pakistani intelligence officials in North Waziristan also confirmed his death as did two Taliban commanders who said they had seen the militant commander's mangled body.

The Taliban commanders said at least four missiles struck just after a vehicle carrying Mehsud entered a compound.

Mehsud had a reputation for being particularly ruthless. He has been near the top of the CIA Counterterrorism Center's most wanted list for his role in the December 2009 suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees at a base in Afghanistan. Mehsud also is believed to have been behind a failed car bombing in New York's Times Square as well as attacks inside Pakistan that killed thousands of civilians and security forces.

The Pakistani government condemned the drone strike, though it did so before news of Mehsud's death was reported.

%@AP Links

137-c-08-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"in North Waziristan"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports that sources say the leader of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a drone assault. (1 Nov 2013)

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139-c-13-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"thousands of lives"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports that as well as being a key target for international forces, the Pakistani Taliban leader had a ruthless reputation locally. (1 Nov 2013)

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138-c-08-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"leader Hakimullah Mehsud"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports that a team on the ground is sure that one of the dead is the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. (1 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO CAI115: FILE - This Nov. 26, 2008 file photo taken in the Orakzai tribal region of Pakistan shows Hakimullah Mehsud who has become the leader of Pakistani Taliban faction after death of Baitullah Mehsud. Intelligence officials said Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 that the leader of the Pakistani Taliban Hakimullah Mehsud was one of three people killed in a U.S. drone strike. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mehsud, File) (26 Nov 2008)

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APPHOTO CAI110: FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2009 file photo, Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is seen with his comrade Waliur Rehman during his meeting with media in Sararogha, a Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border. Intelligence officials say the leader of the Pakistani Taliban was one of three people killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.The officials say agents sent to the site of the attack in the North Waziristan tribal area Friday confirmed the death of the militant leader, Hakimullah Mehsud. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mehsud, File) (2 Jan 2012)

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APPHOTO CAI116: FILE - In this file image taken on Oct. 4, 2009, Pakistan's new Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, center, operates light machine gun with his comrades in Sararogha in Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along Afghanistan border. Intelligence officials said Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 that the leader of the Pakistani Taliban Hakimullah Mehsud was one of three people killed in a U.S. drone strike. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud, File) (4 Oct 2009)

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