90% sure Mehsud is dead: Pentagon

  • PTI, Washington
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2009 13:59 IST
Pentagon on Wednesday said there is a 90 per cent certainty that Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud is dead and it is operating under the presumption that the top militant is no more and is no longer a threat to the people of the region.

Pentagon spokesman Jeoff Morrell said the Taliban has not been able to provide any evidence contrary to this viewpoint.

“We are operating under the assumption-- and it’s not just an assumption. Obviously, we have intelligence that would lead us to believe that there is a 90 per cent certainty that he is no longer living,” Morrell told reporters.

“There is a 90 per cent certainty at this point that, indeed, Baitullah Mehsud has met his demise,” he said.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates like others in the government is operating under the assumption at this point that, indeed, he is no longer a threat to the Pakistani people, Morrell said in response to a question.

When referred to the statements coming from Taliban leaders that Baitullah Mehsud is alive, Morrell said: “If they really wanted to convince anybody that Baitullah Mehsud was still alive, they would probably do as many people do, which is offer some sort of proof of life, but I don’t think that they’ve been -- they are in a position to do so.”


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