SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

May 30, 2013

Drone strike kills top Taliban leader

ISLAMABAD — Missiles from a CIA drone killed a top Pakistani Taliban leader yesterday who was carrying a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, Pakistani security officials said, an indication that the Obama administration and the Pakistani military still are cooperating on the top-secret U.S. targeted killing program.

The strike against Waliur Rehman Mehsud was the first in Pakistan since President Barack Obama outlined tighter rules for the controversial targeted killing program in a speech last week, and some experts questioned whether the criteria used to target him conformed to the president’s pledges of greater accountability and transparency.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to confirm a U.S. hand in Mehsud’s death. But he contended that Mehsud “has participated in cross-border attacks in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO personnel and horrific attacks against Pakistani civilians and soldiers.”

Carney noted that Mehsud also was wanted in connection with a Dec. 30, 2009, suicide bombing at a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven Americans working for the CIA and a Jordanian intelligence officer. Since 2010, the Justice Department has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Mehsud.

“While we are not in the position to confirm the reports of Waliur Rehman’s death, if those reports were true or prove to be true, it’s worth noting that his demise would deprive the TTP of its second in command and chief military strategist,” said Carney, using the initials for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the loose amalgam of groups that compose the Pakistani Taliban.

Although officially designated the No. 2, Mehsud in practice has been the chief since December, when the leadership council effectively fired its leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, for ordering the assassination of another senior commander. Hakimullah Mehsud has since led his own, more radical faction.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Ipswich selectmen act to stop clam raiders IPSWICH -- The Southwest is not the only border under siege. Ipswich is taking emergency action to deal with clammers coming across the Essex and Gloucester border on Sundays to harvest on the richest clamming beach in Ipswich. It's not as serious, o

    July 22, 2014

  • Scuba diver identified

    The district attorney's office has identified the man who died Tuesday in an apparent drowning while scuba diving approximately 2 miles off of Marblehead Harbor. He is Gregory Cole, 58, of Westfield.

    Foul play is not suspected.  The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.  The facts and circumstances leading up to his death remain under investigation.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Brimbal Avenue design to be presented Thursday

    BEVERLY -- Residents will get their first chance to weigh in on the new design proposal for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange on Thursday. City and state officials, along with designer Jacobs Engineering, will host a community meeting Thursday

    July 22, 2014 6 Stories

  • Bail set at $250K for teacher slaying suspect

    July 23, 2014

  • Marblehead diver rescue 2 Body of diver recovered off Marblehead

    State Police divers found the body of a 59-year-old man in the waters off Marblehead at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story