US offers $5 mn reward for Baitullah Mehsud | world | Hindustan Times
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US offers $5 mn reward for Baitullah Mehsud

world Updated: Mar 26, 2009 15:24 IST

The US has offered a $5 million reward for information on Baitullah Mehsud, a senior leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban who is linked to the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Gordon Duguid, State Department acting deputy spokesperson, said: "Mehsud is regarded as a key Al Qaeda facilitator in the tribal areas of South Waziristan in Pakistan."

Pakistani authorities believe the January 2007 suicide bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was staged by militants loyal to Mehsud. Press reports have also linked Mehsud to the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the deaths of other innocent civilians, a statement quoting Duguid said.

"Mehsud has stated his intention to attack the US. He has conducted cross-border attacks against US forces in Afghanistan, and poses a clear threat to American persons and interests in the region."

Besides Mehsud, the US has also announced a reward of $5 million for Sirajuddin Haqqani, who maintains close ties with the Al Qaeda, and a $1 million reward for information on Al Qaeda member Abu Yahya al-Libi.