It is the first time that the militant group has acknowledged his death. Two of Baitullah’s top aides, Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman, called The Associated Press on Tuesday evening to say that he had died on Sunday of wounds from the Aug 5 strike near the Afghan border.

‘He was wounded. He got the wounds in a drone strike and he was martyred two days ago,’ Hakeemullah said. Rehman later repeated the same statement.

Both also confirmed an earlier Taliban announcement that Hakeemullah was now leading the Pakistani Taliban, while Waliur Rehman would lead the movement’s wing in South Waziristan.