Pakistani Taliban withdraw peace talks offer

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban's spokesman says they are withdrawing their offer of peace talks following the death of the group's deputy leader in an American drone attack.

Ahsanullah Ahsan confirmed to The Associated Press in a telephone call from an undisclosed location Thursday that the group's second-in-command, Waliur Rehman, was killed Wednesday in an American drone attack in the tribal areas of Pakistan that border Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said at the time that at least four other militants were killed in the attack.

The militant group had said earlier that it was open to peace talks with the newly elected Pakistani government.

But Ahsan said Thursday that the Taliban believes the government approves of the drone strikes so they are withdrawing their offer of peace talks.