The Corner

Drone Strike Allegedly Kills Pakistan Taliban Chief

Some poor operational security on the part of the Taliban suggest their chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, may have been exploded to death by a U.S. drone strike. Though, as the story notes, it wouldn’t be the first time we thought we got Mehsud.

The claim that the Pakistani Taliban chief was killed came from officials who said they intercepted a number of Taliban radio conversations. In about a half a dozen intercepts, the militants discussed whether their chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed on Jan. 12 in the North Waziristan tribal area. Some militants confirmed Mehsud was dead, and one criticized others for talking about the issue over the radio.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Asimullah Mehsud denied the group’s leader was killed and said he was not in the area where the drone strike occurred.

In early 2010, both Pakistani and American officials said they believed a missile strike had killed Hakimullah Mehsud along the border of North and South Waziristan. They were proved wrong when videos appeared showing him still alive.

Let’s just all cross our fingers and hope, hope, hope that this doesn’t effect our peace negotiations with the Taliban.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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