White House declines to confirm death of Taliban chief in Pakistan
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-08 00:12:16   Print

File photo of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud in 2004. The United States declined on Friday to confirm reports that Baitullah Mehsud, Taliban chief in Pakistan, has likely been killed along with his wife and bodyguards in a drone strike, Aug. 7, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
Photo Gallery>>>

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The United States declined on Friday to confirm reports that Baitullah Mehsud, Taliban chief in Pakistan, has likely been killed along with his wife and bodyguards in a drone strike.

Related

 Pakistan Taliban chief's death to split TTP: report

 FM: Intelligence sources confirm death of Pakistani Taliban chief

 Wife of Pakistani Taliban chief killed in suspected U.S. drone attack

    "The United States cannot confirm that he has been killed in a drone attack, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

    However, the spokesman said that "There seems to be a growing consensus among credible observers that he is indeed dead."

    "Baitullah Mehsud is somebody who has well earned his label as a murderous thug. ... He has killed scores of innocent men, women and children and is supposed to have plotted the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. If he is dead, without a doubt, the people of Pakistan will be safer as a result," Gibbs said.

    Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in Islamabad on Thursday that the Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mahsud was killed in the missile attack on Wednesday. He said "We have some information, but they don't have material evidence to confirm it."

File photo of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud in 2004. The United States declined on Friday to confirm reports that Baitullah Mehsud, Taliban chief in Pakistan, has likely been killed along with his wife and bodyguards in a drone strike, Aug. 7, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
Photo Gallery>>>

    Mehsud has been the leader since 2007 of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, a coalition of Taliban factions loyal to Afghanistan's Taliban leader, Mohammad Omar. An ally of al-Qaida, Mehsud commands as many as 20,000 fighters in Pakistan's rugged northwestern frontier region and has directed or supported numerous suicide bombings in Pakistan, including a deadly attack in 2008 on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
Related Stories
Home World
  Back to Top