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Pakistan Taliban Spokesman Denies Leader Is Dead

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud

Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Asimullah Mehsud, has denied allegations that the group’s leader was killed in a recent U.S. drone strike.

Reuters and The Associated Press news agencies quoted unidentified Pakistan intelligence officials as saying they had intercepted a number of radio conversations between Taliban fighters detailing how Hakimullah Mehsud was killed on January 12 in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border.

Pakistani officials first said they believed a U.S. drone aircraft attack had killed Mehsud in early 2010.

His predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in a drone strike in 2009.

compiled from agency reports