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Pakistani Taliban chief releases audio to dispel death romous

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 17, IRNA -- Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsood Saturday released an audio message to dispel rumours in local media that he was killed in a U.S drone attack a few days ago.

Local media has been reporting over the past few days that Hakimullah Mehsood was killed in a U.S strike in South Waziristan tribal region Thursday.

“I Hakimullah Mehsood makes the statement on January 16 to all Mujahideen through our spokesman Azam Tariq that I am alive, safe and sound. I have neither been injured nor martyred in drone attack,” Mehsood said in Pashto audio message.

The recorded message was played to journalists in Peshawar over phone.

“The unrest among the Mujahideen forced me to declare that I am not injured and not martyred. I was not there at the time of the attack,” the Taliban leader said.

Journalists who spoke earlier to Hakimullah Mehsood said the voice was of the Taliban leader.

Mehsood slammed media for what he called “propaganda against Muslims, Mujahideen and Taliban” and said that the “infidels are facing defeat and have faced defeat and when they face defeat they unleash such propaganda”. He said the Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq had released my audio on Friday but there had been an impression that the audio may be old and that is why he himself released new message on January 16.

“When they want to convert their defeat into victory they start propaganda through media against Muslims, Mujahideen and Taliban to crate doubts in the minds of the pious people. They want to create rift in the ranks of sincere Mujahideen. They want to achieve their objectives through media campaign,” Mehsood said.

The Taliban leader said that they monitor the movement and all activities of the enemy. “We are aware of actions of the enemy”.

End News / IRNA / News Code 901041

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