US Strike Kills Wife of Pakistan Taliban Chief

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 5, 2009 7:02 AM CDT
Villagers look at a destroyed house belonging to supporters of Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud that was destroyed by authorities in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan. Mehsud's wife died in an attack today.   (Ishtiaq Mehsud)
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(Newser) – A US missile strike today in Pakistan's lawless tribal region killed a wife of Baitullah Mehsud, the Taliban commander, the AP reports. Mehsud has been accused of orchestrating dozens of suicide attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. The US, as usual, did not comment on the strike, but three Pakistani officials confirmed that the blast destroyed the home of Mehsud's father-in-law and killed two people.

Pakistan's military has carried out several attacks targeting Mehsud, but an announced major offensive against the Taliban leader and his network has not come. Yet the death of one of his wives—he has two—indicates authorities are closing in on the Taliban leader. "I think they seem to have good intelligence; there is no doubt about it," said one retired Pakistani general.