Pakistani Taliban chief killed

PAKISTAN’S Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who led a violent campaign of suicide attacks against the Pakistani government, has been killed in a US missile strike, an aide to Mehsud said yesterday.

Taliban commanders were meeting to decide on his successor, intelligence and militant sources said.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said intelligence showed Mehsud was killed in Wednesday’s missile strike on his father-in-law’s house in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area, but authorities would travel to the site to verify his death. Pakistani and US officials said the CIA was behind the strike.

Mehsud’s demise would be a major boost to efforts to eradicate the Taliban and al-Qaida, but would not necessarily deal a definitive blow to the Taliban in Pakistan.

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