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Coalition air strike kills head of Pakistani Taliban faction

Salaam Times

KABUL -- A coalition air strike along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has killed the leader of a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group, TOLOnews reported Friday (February 9), citing Afghan government sources.

Khan Saeed Mehsud, also known as Sajna, was killed early Friday alongside one of his nephews and two bodyguards, according to Pakistani officials cited by the Express Tribune.

The strike took place in Barmal District of Afghanistan's southern Paktika Province, reported Pakistani media. Afghan officials gave a different location, saying the strike killed Sajna in Pakistan's North Waziristan.

Sajna headed the Mehsud faction of the TTP, which broke away in 2014 after the death of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud. In February 2017, the TTP announced that the faction had rejoined the main group.

Sajna was a major supporter of the Afghan Taliban-linked Haqqani Network, according to Afghan officials.

He was previously reported to have been killed in a coalition air strike in November 2015, a claim denied by a faction spokesperson at the time.

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