In August 2009 Hakimullah Mehsud shared a second-in-command position under Taliban commander, Baitullah Mehsud. Both were reported dead. Turns out, Hakimullah Mehsud was very much alive, but Baitullah was not. After a power struggle with Wali-ur-Rehman, who was also reported dead, but wasn't...Hakimullah became the new Taliban leader in South Waziristan. Today Pakistan television reports that Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a CIA-directed drone attack, perhaps on January 17th.
An elder in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai tribal agency said he attended Mehsud's funeral on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Speaking anonymously for fear of retaliation, the elder said Mehsud died at his in-laws' home.He was also speculated to be dead in a January 13th drone attack. That report was incorrect. Hakimullah Mehsud's territory has been targeted in retaliation of the suicide bomber attack in Afghanistan that killed seven CIA agents. The bomber, a Pakistani doctor, was recruited as a double agent, or so the CIA thought. After the attack, a video showed him sitting beside Hakimullah, issuing a statement of his coming death.
A Reuters report, quoting a Pakistani intelligence official, said the Taliban leader may have been fatally wounded following a 17 January drone attack on two vehicles in North Waziristan.
Hakimullah Mehsud man has a history of having more than one life, and after reports of his demise, he has a habit of phoning a Western journalist for a few laughs. We'll see if that phone call comes.
Related and Background:
Baitullah Meshud Successor is Alive
Hakimullah Mehsud Dead: Wali-ur-Rehman Dead - Successors Kill Each Other?
Baitullah Mehsud is Alive: Baitullah Mehsud is Dead