Al-Qaeda Ally Denies Hand in Bhutto Killing

Pakistan accuses him, but Mehsud would never 'attack a woman'
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2007 6:21 AM CST
Baitullah Mehsud's late brother-in-arms Abdullah Mehsud talks to reporters near Chagmalai on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004 in South Waziristan along Afghanistan border. Pakistan's government asserted Friday...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A representative of Baitullah Mehsud, the al-Qaeda leader Pakistan has fingered in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, strongly denied any involvement in her death today. Giving further support to the claims of a cover-up by Bhutto's partisans, the spokesman for Mehsud said "he had no involvement in this attack" and that "it is against tribal tradition and custom to attack a woman."

Mehsud's representative, speaking to news agencies from the mountainous area of South Waziristan on the Afghan border, insisted that "we are only against America, and we don't consider political leaders of Pakistan our enemy." The denial is at odds with what is alleged to be the transcript of an intercepted phone call released by Pakistan's interior ministry yesterday in which Mehsud congratulates operatives on the success of the assassination.