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Drone Said To Have Killed Key Pakistani Taliban Commander

Waliur Rehman, who was reportedly killed Wednesday in Pakistan.
U.S. State Dept.
Waliur Rehman, who was reportedly killed Wednesday in Pakistan.

It's not confirmed that he's dead. But if a suspected U.S. drone strike on Wednesday did kill Waliur Rehman, as Pakistani officials say it did, then a top Pakistani Taliban commander with a $5 million price on his head has been taken off the battlefield.

According to the U.S. State Department's "rewards for justice" program:

"Rehman is second in command and chief military strategist of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He commands TTP members. He has participated in cross-border attacks in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO personnel, and is wanted in connection with his involvement in the murder of seven American citizens on December 30, 2009, at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan."

The seven Americans killed in that attack were waiting for what they thought was a high-value operative with connections deep inside al-Qaida. But that man was on a suicide mission. The deaths that followed the detonation of his explosive vest caused the single-worst loss of life in CIA history.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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