US rejects Taliban claims of Mehsud being alive

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Washington, Aug.11 (ANI): The United States has rejected theTaliban's claim of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud being alive.

US National Security Adviser General James Jones said there is sufficient evidence and proof that Mehsud has been killed.

"The Pakistani government believes that he is (dead), and all evidence that we have suggests that," General Jones said.

On Monday, one of Mehsud's close aides, Maulana Noor Saeed , had told the BBC that reports about the TTP chief's death were unfounded.

Saeed said Mehsud was alive and will soon release a video footage to put an end to all speculations.

When enquired about reports of two top Taliban commanders being also killed in an infighting that followed Mehsud's death, General Jones said reports could not be verified.

"We've heard stories about that. We can't confirm it. But it certainly appears to be that there was some dissension in the ranks. That's not a bad thing for us," The Dawn quoted General Jones, as saying.

He highlighted that despite Mehsud's death there are huge number of Taliban fighters present inside Pakistan.

"Regardless of who's in charge, there's still up to 20,000 Taliban fighters inside Pakistan," he said.

Describing Mehsud as 'a very bad individual, and a real thug', General Jones said that for the last several months, Washington and Islamabad has had 'good' engagement against the extremists.

"The Pakistani army has acquitted itself quite well in the Swat region, showing sensitivity for refugees as well," he added. (ANI)

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