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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Pakistani Taliban: Baitullah Meshud is Dead

By VOA News
25 August 2009

Pakistani Taliban commanders have acknowledged that their former leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed by a U.S. air strike.

This is the first time the militant group has acknowledged Mehsud's death.

U.S. and Pakistani officials have been saying that Mehsud died in the August 5 missile strike near the Afghan border, but the Taliban had repeatedly denied it.

On Tuesday, two Taliban commanders, Hakimullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman, said their leader died Sunday from injuries he sustained in the missile strike.

On Saturday, another Taliban commander, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, announced that Hakimullah Mehsud had been named the group's new leader.

Earlier, Pakistani officials said senior Taliban members have been unable to agree on a new leader, and that infighting had erupted, putting the militant group in a state of disarray.

Baitullah Mehsud commanded Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, a network of at least 13 groups that is responsible for many attacks in Pakistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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