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Baitullah Mehsud's five close aides killed

world Updated: Jun 27, 2009 12:58 IST
Baitullah Mehsud's five close aides killed in Karachi

Five close aides of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud have been killed in a shootout with police, who raided a militant hideout in this southern port city.

The five were killed after they refused to surrender and engaged the police team in a gunfight at the hideout near Gadap town, located close to the national highway, city police chief Waseem Ahmed said last night.

"Five other persons managed to escape and we are in their pursuit," he said.

The police official said the five killed were close accomplices of Tehreek-e-Taliban leader Mehsud, who is on the most wanted list of the Pakistan and US governments.

"We have recovered heavy ammunition and explosive material from the site where these people were hiding," Ahmed said.

He said the militants were hiding in the area in the garb of displaced people from Swat valley, where the military has launched a major offensive against the Taliban since last April.

Police said the raid had taken place following "confessions" by certain terrorists arrested earlier from the city.