By William Tucker
Paksitani intelligence officers are claiming that Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a recent drone strike near Miramshah. Mehsud has been reported dead by the Pakistanis so many times that he should win a prize, but strangely this report is a bit different (For those keeping score at home this is the fourteenth time Mehsud has been reported dead by the author’s count). In the past, reports of Mehsud’s death were quickly refuted – usually within a day or two – which is why this article is being posted only now. With most militant deaths it is best to wait a day or two for confirmation one way or the other. Here it is two days later and Taliban members have made several contradictory statements over Mehsud’s fate. If alive, Mehsud will most likely grant a media interview as he has done in the past, but for the moment we cannot dismiss the possibility that the Pakistanis may have finally released an accurate statement.
Photo: Hakimullah Mehsud, Emir of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), center, with firearm. Original source unknown.