Hakeemullah Mehsud’s brother killed: officials

PESHAWAR: The brother of new Pakistan Taliban leader Hakeemullah Mehsud has been killed in a clash with the military in the tribal region where militants hold sway, security officials said Thursday.

Kaleemullah Mehsud was killed on Monday in a shootout in North Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan that is considered a militant stronghold

‘Kaleemullah was buried on Wednesday. He was killed on Monday in crossfire with security forces,’ a security official in North Waziristan told AFP.

An intelligence official in the region confirmed the report, but there was no immediate reaction from the Taliban.

Fighting erupted on the outskirts of North Waziristan on Monday, after Taliban rebels fired a missile into a paramilitary camp at Razmak town, killing one soldier and wounding five others, security officials said at the time.

In retaliation, the paramilitaries pounded militant hideouts around Razmak and in neighbouring South Waziristan’s Makeen and Ladha areas, with seven Taliban including Kaleemullah Mehsud killed in the bombardments.

Hakeemullah Mehsud, who has yet to speak to the media or appear in public since his appointment, has two surviving brothers.

The young commander, believed to be about 30, took the reins of the feared Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in late August, after the group finally confirmed the death of leader Baitullah Mehsud in an August five US drone missile strike.

The government blames the TTP — formed by Baitullah Mehsud in late 2007 — for the majority of about 270 attacks and suicide bombings that have killed more than 2,100 people across Pakistan in the past two years. — AFP

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