Multiple media outlets reported on Monday that Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, a senior Taliban commander, had been shot and killed by unknown gunmen in North Waziristan (AFP, BBC, Dawn). According to the reports, Bhittani's drivers and two bodyguards were also killed in the incident, which occurred near Miran Shah. While Bhittani's family has confirmed his death, the Taliban have not yet commented on the reports (AP).
Serving as the interim chief of the Taliban after the death of leader Hakimullah Mehsud last year, Bhittani had been on the Pakistan Army's list of 20 most-wanted Taliban commanders and had a $120,000 bounty on his head (RFE/RL). But according to RFE/RL, Bhittani had also been playing a key role in the militant organization's efforts to restart peace talks with the Pakistani government.