'Mehsud, Taliban Chief has links with ISI'

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New York, Apr 11: A media report has revealed that Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of Pakistani Taliban who claimed responsibility for the attack on the Manawan police academy outside Lahore has links with Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).

Newsweek reported that Mehsud was allegedly tipped off by the ISI which helped him escape the attmpts to capture him.

Officials in both Washington and Islamabad suspect that Mehsud has contacts inside the ISI, said Newsweek quoting two counter-terrorism sources familiar with US government's reporting. However, the report said that that US officials either refused to discuss the issue or that they could not confirm it.

"Baitullah is very much mixed up in Afghanistan and with al-Qaeda," one Afghan Taliban commander told the news magazine, and added that Mehsud was capable of shipping foreign fighters into Afghanistan and even west.

He is also suspected to have hand in the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The Pakistani security forces have launched several operations to capture him however has not succeeded yet. A tribal leader was quoted in the magazine saying , "it's a puzzle why they're ignoring and avoiding any strike against him," considering Pakistan's 'purported knowledge'.

OneIndia News

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