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US drones to train guns on Pakistani Taliban

world Updated: Feb 21, 2009 14:55 IST

After targeting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in their 'safe havens' on the Pak-Afghan border, US forces have now also started hitting Pakistani Taliban.

US President Barack Obama has broadened the list of radical groups to be targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the group led by Baitullah Mehsud is one of them, 'The New York Times' reported.

The strikes are another sign that Obama is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy in using American spy agencies against terrorism suspects in Pakistan, as he had promised to do during his presidential campaign.

The missile strikes on training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud represent a broadening of the American campaign inside Pakistan, which has been largely carried out by drone aircraft.

Last week, American drones attacked a camp run by Hakeem Ullah Mehsud, a top aide to the militant leader. But the Pakistani Taliban chief himself was not killed.

By striking at the Mehsud network, US may be seeking to demonstrate to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari that the new administration is willing to go after the insurgents of greatest concern to Pakistani leaders.