The militant leader’s death would be an important success for both Pakistan, which has been battling the Pakistani Taliban, and the U.S., which blames Mehsud for a recent deadly bombing against the CIA in Afghanistan.
Mehsud’s predecessor was also killed in a missile strike less than six months ago, highlighting the ability of the unmanned aircraft to target Taliban and al-Qaida leaders holed up in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area.
The army’s disclosure of its investigation came shortly after Pakistani state television, citing unnamed “official sources,” reported that Mehsud died in Orakzai, an area in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region where he was reportedly being treated for his injuries.
“We have these reports coming to us,” army spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told The Associated Press. “We are investigating whether it is true or wrong.”
A tribal elder told the AP that he attended Mehsud’s funeral in the Mamuzai area of Orakzai on Thursday. He said Mehsud was buried in Mamuzai graveyard after he died at his in-laws’ home. The elder spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from the Taliban.
Reported: Jan 14, 2010
CIA drone strike hits Hakimullah Mehsud compound
A CIA drone strike on a suspected militant hideout today killed 12 people in an attack aimed at killing the top Taleban commander in Pakistan.
A local tribal leader said Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the early-morning raid, but the Taliban insisted he was still alive. Pakistani officials have not yet made any claim over his fate.