ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistani Taliban confirmed Thursday that its deputy chief had been killed by a drone strike and vowed revenge against the government for allegedly providing the terrorist chief's coordinates to the CIA.
Ahsanullah Ahsan, the spokesman of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, phoned McClatchy to confirm that a U.S. drone strike early Wednesday had killed Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the terrorist outfit's deputy chief.
Ahsan said the TTP's offer of peace talks with the incoming government had been withdrawn because the terrorist organization was convinced that the Pakistani government — by which he inferred the Pakistani military — was complicit in the strike on the village of Chashma that killed Mehsud and three other militants.
Although officially No. 2 to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud, Waliur Mehsud had been handed responsibility for running the organization in December by the outfit's ruling council.
"We had sincerely offered peace talks to the government, but are now withdrawing it," Ahsan said. "We strongly believe that (the government) played a role in the drone strike."
The Pakistani government officially denies any complicity in CIA drone strikes against terrorists in North Waziristan and South Waziristan, the hotbed of Pakistani militancy on Afghanistan's eastern border.