Pakistan checks reported death of Taliban chief

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 31, 2010 12:50



The Pakistani army said Sunday that it was investigating reports that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud died from injuries sustained in a US drone missile strike in mid-January.



The terror chief's death would be an important success for both Pakistan, which has been battling the Pakistani Taliban, and the US, which blames Mehsud for a recent deadly bombing against the CIA in Afghanistan.



The army's announcement came shortly after Pakistani state television, citing unnamed "official sources," reported that Mehsud died in Orakzai, an area in Pakistan's northwest tribal region where he was reportedly being treated for his injuries.



"We have these reports coming to us," army spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told The Associated Press. "We are investigating whether it is true or wrong."



A tribal elder told the AP that he attended Mehsud's funeral in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai on Thursday. He said Mehsud was buried in Mamuzai graveyard after he died at his in-laws' home. The elder spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the Taliban.


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