Pak Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud dies of illness

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Islamabad, Oct 1 : Baitullah Mehsud, a top commander of the Pakistan's unit of the Taliban - the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), reportedly died of a prolonged illness on Tuesday. He was initially accused of masterminding the killing of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto on December 27, but he later denied having a hand in the assassination.

He was believed to be suffering from diabetes and hypertension, reported a Pakistan-based TV channel "Dawn News". Though, the TV report was silent on any confirmation from the TTP.

According to the paper, Mehsud had been bed-ridden for the past three weeks and was unable to move, causing a lot of concern among the Taliban leaders. It was also reported that his poor health had led to the convergence of the top militant leadership at Makeen in South Waziristan tribal region for a meeting.

The last time Mehsud had fallen ill a few months ago, he had gone into a coma. His condition was reportedly so bad that a meeting of top Taliban leaders was on the verge of nominating a new chief. However, Mehsud regained consciousness and made a swift recovery.

"This time also he seems to have gone into a coma... This time, however, his condition may be more serious as his kidneys have failed because of the high level of sugar," the report quoted a source as saying earlier this week.

Mehsud (35), a former physical instructor at a school had recently got married. Like his idol, Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Mehsud rarely allowed himself to be photographed or filmed, said the report.

ANI

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