Wow: Death toll from Taliban Predator strike now at 83; Mehsud targeted

Yesterday’s follow-on Predator attack at a funeral for a Taliban commander targeted senior Pakistani and Afghan leaders of the group. The death toll in the attack has jumped to 83, and two Taliban commanders were rumored to have been killed, although one commander targeted confirmed he was alive and an aide to another said he leader was not killed.

Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior commander in Baitullah’s network, and Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a field commander in the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, were targeted in the Predator attack in Pakistan’s lawless tribal agency of South Waziristan.

The attack took place in the Ladha region as scores of Taliban leaders and fighters were attending the funeral of Khwaz Ali Mehsud, a mid-level commander in Baitullah’s network. The initial attack on the funeral procession was followed up with strikes on Taliban vehicles as they attempted to flee the attack site.