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Reports: Pakistani Taliban Leader Dead

  • VOA News

The leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, is reported to have died of a long illness.

Media outlets reported the death of the militant commander on Tuesday.

News reports earlier this week said Mehsud had fallen seriously ill. He was believed to be suffering from diabetes, and some reports said his kidneys were failing.

Mehsud is the head of the Terik-e-Taliban, Pakistan's main Taliban movement based in the South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan. The group has been blamed for suicide bombings, and the kidnappings and murders of government supporters.

Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf accused Mehsud of masterminding the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

In April, Pakistan's new government began peace talks with militants loyal to Mehsud.

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