The Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud has been killed in a US missile attack, a close aide has confirmed.
Mehsud was a key strategist and organiser of the Taliban movement and his death is seen as a significant blow for the movement. Faction commander Baz Mohammad confirmed speculation that had been circulating: “Iqbal, the brother in law of Baitullah Mehsud, gave us the information. On Wednesday in the attack which happened, Baitullah and his four other aides and his wife were killed.” Mehsud’s power base was in the tribal regions of South Waziristan. In the capital Islamabad some were sceptical about the impact his death might have: “This is all about the system,” said this worshipper at the Red Mosque. “The main failure of our system is that we have accepted American slavery. Until we make policy on our own, a lot of Baitullahs will be born and keep on destroying our country.” United States intelligence linked Baitullah to numerous terrors attacks, including that which killed former pakistani president Benazir Bhutto. He denied any involvement in her killing.