Pak ISPR says all indicators prove Mehsud is dead

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Islamabad, Aug.10 (ANI): * Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas has said that information gleaned from multiple sources have confirmed the death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud in a CIA missile strike last Wednesday.

Claims and counterclaims about whether Mehsud is alive or dead have swirled since the Wednesday drone strike in South Waziristan.

A Daily Times report said there are also conflicting reports that a major fight has broken out between Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman - the two likely contenders to replace Baitullah Mehsud - with one or both being killed or wounded.

"Multiple sources are now confirming he (Baitullah) is dead," including at least two Taliban commanders, Major General Abbas said.

"Why is there a fight, why this fight for succession? These are very strong indicators leading towards reasonable confirmation that he (Baitullah Mehsud) was killed," he added.

He, however, said the authorities were currently unable to confirm what occurred in the Taliban meeting where the gun battle is believed to have broken out.

A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, however, is still skeptical about any potential successor being injured.

He said there were reports of a clash among Taliban guards at a meeting on Saturday evening and indications that some people had been wounded, but there was no credible information to suggest any of the Taliban leaders were among them.

Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones said on Sunday that Washington is convinced that Baitullah Mehsud has been killed and added that a close watch is being kept on ensuing developments.

"The subsequent dissension within the Taliban represents an important moment in the struggle against violent extremism in Pakistan. It goes to show that I think the strategy that we are engaged with Pakistan is actually having some effect, and that is good," he told Fox News. (ANI)

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