Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud - once charged by the United States for his alleged involvement in a deadly 2009 attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan - was killed in a drone strike in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, senior U.S. and Pakistani officials told CNN.
Three other people were killed in the strike, Pakistani intelligence sources and tribal officials said, describing the incident as a suspected U.S. drone strike in a remote area of Pakistan's Waziristan region, a Taliban stronghold bordering Afghanistan.
One missile hit a compound, and another struck a car nearby, the Pakistani sources said.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended U.S. surveillance programs as he took part in a London conference by video Thursday, but acknowledged, "yes, in some cases, it has reached too far inappropriately".
Kerry, who was in Washington, addressed the Open Government Partnership annual summit meeting.
During a discussion of the surveillance programs, Kerry talked about the spying accusations that have roiled world leaders.
The states whose National Guard units continue to deny military benefits to same-sex spouses were taken to task by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Thursday night, in a speech to the Anti-Defamation League.
Denying such benefits "causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish," Hagel said as he relayed a conversation he had earlier that day with Gen. Frank Grass, who is Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
In the wake of revelations the U.S. spied on some of its closest partners, the head of the National Security Agency said Thursday he thinks some relationships with allies are more important in the fight against terrorism than the gathering of intelligence.
A week after reports the United States was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and potentially 30 or more other heads of state, Gen. Keith Alexander said there may be more effective ways of gathering the intelligence Washington needs without jeopardizing crucial relationships with allies.