Pakistan Pounds Enclave of Militant Leader

Troops, tanks and helicopters attack Mehsud's mountain hideout
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 10:03 AM CST
Baitullah Mehsud, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, talks to reporters near Chagmalai on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004, in South Waziristan along Afghanistan border. Pakistan's government asserts that he's...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Pakistani army has launched an assault on Baitullah Mehsud’s forces in Waziristan, reports the Guardian. The Pakistani government suspects Mehsud, a militant leader who has spent time in Guantanamo, of masterminding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The army claimed 40 kills, while Mehsud’s side said they only lost seven fighters—and killed 25 soldiers.

The assault was triggered by a militant attack on a security facility last week that killed seven paramilitary policemen. Bhutto supporters continue to suspect the government in her death, but CIA officials said they “have no reason to question” Mehsud’s responsibility. Mehsud rallied his troops over the radio, telling them “It is an order from God that you continue the fight.”