Mehsud Is Alive, Says Fellow Commander

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 9:05 AM CDT
Baitullah Mehsud addresses reporters earlier this year in Pakistan.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – US and Pakistani officials say they're all but certain they killed Baitullah Mehsud, yet one of his fellow Taliban commanders says that's just a bunch of "ridiculous" propaganda. Mehsud, he insists to the BBC, is alive and will stay underground for a few days before issuing a public statement. He offered no proof, however, and some analysts suggest he may be buying time to take over the Pakistan Taliban himself, notes Reuters.

"The news regarding our respected chief is propaganda by our enemies," says commander Hakimullah Mehsud. "We know what our enemies want to achieve—it's the joint policy of the (Pakistani intelligence service) ISI and FBI—they want our chief to come out in the open so they can achieve their target."