Senior Pakistani Taliban leader assassinated

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Unidentified gunmen Monday shot dead senior Pakistani Taliban commander Asmatullah Shaheen in North Waziristan tribal region, security officials said.

Shaheen once headed the Talibanˈs powerful central council.

No group claimed responsibility for the assassination of the top commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan at a time when peace talks collapsed between the Taliban and the government.

Officials in the region said that Shaheenˈs vehicle came under attack near the Afghan border from gunmen in a car. His three guards were also killed in the attack.

Shaheenˈs killing is another serious setback for the Taliban as they have lost second senior leader in less than four months.

In November, Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in the same region.

After the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, Shaheen briefly headed the Taliban movement.

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