Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud Suspected Killed

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - There is a strong likelihood that Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed along with his wife and bodyguards in a missile attack two days ago, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Reuters. "We suspect he was killed in the missile strike," Malik said on Friday. "We have some information, but we don't have material evidence to confirm it."

The United States has placed a $5 million reward on the head of Mehsud, an ally of al Qaeda widely regarded in Pakistan as Public Enemy No. 1. However, a U.S. defense official, speaking anonymously in Washington, said he had seen no indications that Mehsud had been killed in the strike.

The attack in a tribal region of northwest Pakistan was believed to have been carried out by a pilotless U.S. drone aircraft at around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Neither the Pakistan nor U.S. governments confirm such attacks because of sensitivities over violation of Pakistan's territorial sovereignty.

Intelligence officials and relatives had confirmed earlier that Mehsud's second wife had been killed in the missile strike that targeted her father's home in an outlying settlement close to Makeen village in the South Waziristan tribal region. A relative of Mehsud's dead wife had initially said the Taliban leader wasn't present when the missiles struck, but rumors that he had either been wounded or killed refused to die down.

"Pakistani Taliban chief likely killed: minister", Reuters, 8/6/09.



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I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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