Pakistan checks reported death of Taliban chief

The Pakistani army saidSunday that it was investigating reports that Pakistani Taliban leaderHakimullah Mehsud died from injuries sustained in a US drone missilestrike in mid-January.

The terror chief's death would be animportant success for both Pakistan, which has been battling thePakistani Taliban, and the US, which blames Mehsud for a recentdeadly bombing against the CIA in Afghanistan.

The army'sannouncement came shortly after Pakistani state television, citingunnamed "official sources," reported that Mehsud died in Orakzai, anarea in Pakistan's northwest tribal region where he was reportedlybeing treated for his injuries.

"We have these reports coming tous," army spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told The Associated Press. "We areinvestigating whether it is true or wrong."

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