Pakistan Taliban vows to reply to US attack, confirms Baitullah's death

Pakistani Taliban vowed to reply to America's deadly drone strike, confirming for the first time killing of their leader, Baitullah Mehsud.

Pakistan Taliban vows to reply to US attack, confirms Baitullah's death

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistani Taliban vowed to reply to America's deadly drone strike, confirming on Tuesday for the first time killing of their leader, Baitullah Mehsud.

Pakistani and U.S. officials had said that Mehsud was killed in a missile strike by a U.S. drone on home of his father-in-law in South Waziristan on Aug. 5, but the Taliban had denied it. U.S. strike killed also his wife.

The BBC said on its website that two Taliban commanders loyal to Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman, confirmed that Baitullah Mehsud had been killed.

Hakimullah said Baitullah had been seriously wounded in the Aug. 5 missile strike and had died on Sunday, Reuters said.

Taliban announced on Saturday that Hakimullah had been chosen as the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban as Baitullah was sick.

"He remained unconscious after being seriously injured in a drone attack and died on Sunday. Now the shura (meeting of elders) has unanimously appointed me as new amir (head) of Tehreek-e-Taliban," Mehsud told reporters.

He said the other top contender for Taliban leadership, Wali-ur Rehman, had been named militant chief for South Waziristan, and denied any infighting.

Hakimullah Mehsud is believed to be about 30-years-old, and a Taliban commander in the tribal districts of Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram.

Despite Hakimulhah's announcement, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a news conference in Istanbul that he doubted the Taliban had appointed a new leader following Baitullah Mehsud's death.

"My information is that there is no decision taken yet," Qureshi said.

Retaliation

Hakimullah Mehsud aso said that Taliban would take revenge for U.S. drone strike that killed Baitullah Mehsud.

"We will take revenge and soon. We will give our reply to this drone attack to America," he said.

Pakistani army launched a massive offensive in South Waziristan after a previous assault in Swat Valley despite warnings by United Nations on civlian disaster.

Taliban gained the right to form provincial administration, implementing Shar'ia laws in Swat districts under the deal. But Taliban fighters entered neighbouring districts, including one just 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Islamabad.

Taliban says the offensive was launched by government to please U.S. who has pressured to break it.

Taliban says Pakistani government had no respect for any pact and They kept violating every agreement and if this goes on.

Pakistan grabed over 5 billion USD in financial assistance after military offensive on Taliban.

U.N. had warned Pakistan that U.S.-backed attacks in Waziristan would force half a million civilians to flee their homes. But Swat offensive caused already three million displacement.

Last Mod: 26 Ağustos 2009, 12:46
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