The leader of the Pakistan Taliban was killed Friday in a U.S. drone strike in Northwest Pakistan, U.S. and Pakistani officials tell NBC News.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, head of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a CIA drone strike.
A Pakistani security official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told NBC News earlier that Mehsud was killed earlier in the day in Danday Darpakhel village of North Waziristan.
A senior member of the Pakistani Taliban, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the death.
"It is very painful to announce that our dearest, brave and sincere leader Hakimullah Mehsud died in drone attack," he said.
The U.S. official said he could not confirm other deaths in the attack, but reports in Pakistani news media said a total of four people were killed and five others injured in the strikes, which targeted a compound. The dead reportedly included two other senior TTP officials, Abdullah Bahar Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud's new deputy, and commander Tariq Mehsud.
A senior Pakistani security official told NBC News that the country was placed on an increased state of alert to pre-empt retaliatory attacks by the Taliban.