Whatsapp image claiming Taliban leader Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud has been killed is false

Local sources have confirmed that he is alive and there is no official confirmation of his death from the Pakistani military or the TTP


Claim: A Whatsapp image shows an ARY News headline claiming Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, the chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan.

Fact: The image is not authentic and the claim has not been confirmed by any credible sources. Local journalists and sources have denied the news of Mehsud’s death and said he is alive. There is no official confirmation of his death from the Pakistani military or the TTP.

On 24 March 2023, a screenshot of an ARY News bulletin went viral on social media. The headline claimed that Pakistan Taliban chief Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan.

Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud is one of the most prominant figures of the TTP and a member of the Mehsud tribe. He has served as the head of TTP’s Mehsud faction and has written books against American imperialism. False news regarding his death has been circulated by ARY before as well.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found the claim made in the screenshot to be false. ARY News has not reported any such news on its website or its social media accounts recently. But we found an article from 25 June 2021, which was shared on ARY News’s website here. This article claims that some sources have reported that the TTP Chief Noor Wali Mehsud was killed in drone attacks in Afghanistan. 

The ARY headline screenshot appears to be doctored since it is dated 24 March 2023 and does not match the font style of ARY News headlines.

Moreover, we found Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud’s tweet clarifying that the news regarding Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud’s death is fake. Mehsud works as Director News at The Khorasan Diary and has worked for The New York Times and holds an extensive record of covering terrorism and conflict in FATA and KPK. 

Soch Fact Check spoke to Ihsanullah Tipu directly who confirmed that he has spoken to several high-level members of the TTP who have confirmed that they have met Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud after 24 March 2023. He also emphasised that according to his discussion with the ARY team, the screenshot is doctored and they did not run this headline on their channel.

Moreover, Soch Fact Check got in touch with one on-ground journalist currently covering terrorism in these regions who cited 3 sources close to Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud who testified that he is alive and well. 

There was no news of Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud’s death on the ISPR website or a news report announcing his death on any other mainstream news website. In the past, the ISPR has followed a tradition of issuing a press release when a high-profile Islamic militant is killed in an operation. Examples of this can be seen here and here. These press releases then inform mainstream news organisations such as Dawn, who are then able to publish a more comprehensive account. 

Additionally, there was no news of his funeral the next day or any press release confirming the death of Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, who is a high level militant.


We found ARY’s post from 2021 on Facebook here and here

Conclusion: TTP leader Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud has not been killed in a drone strike, yet.

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