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Pakistan Taliban chief's deputy denies Mehsud's death
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Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud is still commanding the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan ( TTP) and his recorded message will be public in two days, said Baitullah's deputy Hakmiullah Mehsud as denying the chief's death, local TV channels reported Saturday.

Hakmiullah Mehsud, also the spokesman of the TTP claimed that Baitullah is alive and hiding at undisclosed location, the private TV channel ARY News reported.

According to an Arabic Television, Hakmiullah said Baitullah gone into hiding as a part of strategy and no contact with him after attack.

Hakmiullah said Baitullah will talk about the suspected United States drone attack in his message.

While commenting on media reports that Baitullah was attacked in his father-in-law's house, he said that it is a very shameful thing in tribal agency that a man can live or stay in his father- in-law's house and Baitullah did not stay at the residence of his father-in-law.

Local and foreign media have been reporting over the past two days that Baitullah was killed in the attack in northwest Pakistan ' s South Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday when he was staying at the house of his father-in-law.

The denial has created further confusion over Baitullah's death as Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had stated Friday that intelligence sources have confirmed the death.

Hakimullah said the Pakistani intelligence agencies, military intelligence and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had planned to bring him out of his place but they have failed.

"Baitullah Mehsud has adopted war strategy like Osama bin Laden and Mulla Omar to lead his men from undisclosed location," he said.

A former parliamentarian from South Waziristan Maulana Mirajuddin also denied Baitulalh's death reports.

Mirajuddin, considered to be very close to militants in Waziristan region, told reporters that according to his information Baitulalh has not been killed.

The government sources said Friday it is the part of the TTP's strategy to deny their chief's death.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik told media that Mehsud had likely been killed in the missile attack on Wednesday, adding that he had some information, but they didn't have material evidence to confirm it.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2009)

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