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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Predator Missile Launch Misses Pak Taliban Leader, Kills His Second Wife - Update Mehsud believed killed

Predator Missile Launch Misses Pak Taliban Leader, Kills His Second Wife - Update Mehsud believed killed

August 6, 2009

Predator Missile Launch Misses Pak Taliban Leader, Kills His Second Wife

August 6, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - According to a report carried both by Reuters [see, http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE5740WD20090805] and AP, the second wife of Pakistan's Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed early Wednesday morning in a Predator attack launched in the terror stronghold of South Waziristan.

Baitullah Mehsud, the intended victim, apparently was not injured in the missile launch which was directed at the compound of the father of Mehsud's wife - a locally prominent imam - located in the remote town of Makeen. It is not known at the time if the Taliban king-pin was in the area during the action.

It is believed that a number of Mehsud's children were injured as a result of the strike. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=mehsud8.6.09%2Ehtm

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Pakistan Foreign Minister: Taliban Chief Baitullah Mehsud is Dead

By Ayaz Gul
Islamabad
06 August 2009

Pakistan's foreign minister says intelligence sources have confirmed that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed by Wednesday's missile strike in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Family sources had immediately confirmed the killing of two people in the Wednesday attack including the wife of fugitive Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

But, because of the remoteness of the Taliban-held district in South Waziristan it was not immediately possible to confirm whether Mehsud was also present in the house when the missiles hit it.


http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-08-06-voa54.cfm

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Afghan Taliban say unhurt by Mehsud death

KABUL (Reuters) - The reported death of the chief of Pakistan's Taliban movement will not hurt the Taliban cause in neighboring Afghanistan, an Afghan Taliban spokesman said on Friday.

Pakistani officials say they believe Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a missile strike two days ago, in what would be a major coup in Pakistan's fight against the militants.

In Afghanistan, Western countries have more than 100,000 troops fighting Taliban Islamist insurgents who ruled that country until being driven out in 2001. They believe the Afghan Taliban shelter and train across the border in Pakistan.

The Taliban movement has its roots in Pashtun tribes which straddle both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier. But Mehsud's Pakistani organization is seen as mainly preoccupied with affairs on its side of the border, known as the Durand line after the British official who drew it during the colonial era.

"The Taliban's jihad against foreign forces in Afghanistan will not be affected if a Pakistani Taliban leader is killed on the other side of the Durand line," Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"We feel sympathy for our brothers who fight for the same cause, but resistance against the Afghan government and its foreign allies will continue."

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Afghanistan-Pakistan/idUSTRE5762LP20090807

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Pakistani Taliban's leader 'ill'

Baitullah Mehsud at a news conference in South Waziristan, 24 May 2008

Baitullah Mehsud has been blamed for suicide attacks on Western forces

The Pakistani Taliban's leader Baitullah Mehsud is gravely ill, his top aide has told the BBC.

Maulan Nur Syed denied this was linked in any way to claims Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US missile strike on Wednesday in a remote tribal area.

Both the US and Pakistan earlier said their intelligence suggested Baitullah Mehsud was killed in the attack.

There were also reports of a major gun battle between potential successors to Baitullah Mehsud after the strike.

On Sunday, Maulana Nur Syed told the BBC the Pakistani Taliban leader had not been at the house that was attacked by the US missile.

But it is thought that by making this statement, the Taliban are preparing the ground for an announcement that Pakistan's most wanted man is in fact dead, the BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad says.

'90% certainty'

Earlier, Pakistani officials said they had "credible evidence" that Baitullah Mehsud had been killed.

But senior Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud then contacted the BBC to say his chief was alive and well.

Officials in Islamabad later said that Hakimullah was himself one of those killed in a fight over succession in South Waziristan.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Islamabad, says the situation is very unclear and information is based on rumours from deep inside militant territory in north-west Pakistan.

In Washington, US National Security Adviser Jim Jones put he level of US certainty that Baitullah Mehsud had been killed "in the 90% category".

The Pakistani interior minister have challenged the Taliban to prove its leaders are still alive.

But Taliban commanders have dismissed this as a ploy to flush them out into the open.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8192570.stm

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Mehsud killed while getting 'leg massage': report

(AFP) 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed last week in a CIA drone attack while getting a leg massage on the roof of his father-in-law's house, CNN said Monday, citing an unnamed US official.

A US counterterrorism official told AFP, meanwhile, that "there are strong indications (Mehsud) is dead" following a drone attack.

"No one is expecting him home for dinner tonight," the official said.

US President Barack Obama is being told Mehsud was killed after a "dramatic escalation" of nine unmanned drones specifically targeting the Taliban leader in recent weeks, the US official told CNN television.

On Wednesday night, US surveillance in Pakistan spied a man on the roof of Mehsud's father-in-law's home in South Waziristan.

The description was of a "short, stocky man who was following the physical description" of Mehsud, CNN said, citing the intelligence official.

A woman was massaging the man's leg and the Central Intelligence Agency knew Mehsud had diabetes, experienced pain in his legs, and often sought relief in that way, the report said.

Officials already had authorization from Obama to strike Mehsud if they thought they had a clear shot.

"That's when the CIA decided to move in," the network said the official said.

A top Taliban commander, Hakimullah Mehsud, earlier Monday challenged Pakistan to prove that Mehsud was dead, insisting in a telephone call to AFP that the warlord was still alive.

Although Pakistan said it believed Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack along with his wife on Wednesday, confusion has reigned and the government there has stopped short of confirming his death.

White House national security advisor Jim Jones said on Sunday that the United States was "90 percent" sure Baitullah Mehsud is dead after a US missile strike.

"The Pakistani government believes he is and all the evidence we have suggests that," Jones said in an interview with Fox News Sunday.

Hakimullah Mehsud claimed the insurgent group would issue a message in the next three to four days proving Baitullah Mehsud was still alive.

Hakimullah said only that Baitullah was "a bit sick."

Hakimullah did confirm to AFP, however, that Baitullah's wife had been killed in an attack, adding that the Taliban would soon avenge her death.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i4Eq_E-YhxSAgx8uKC1d9lezD2-A

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