News / Asia

Pakistani Taliban Leader Releases New Audio

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud issued a new audio recording Saturday to prove he survived a suspected U.S. missile strike earlier in the week.

On the recording, Mehsud said he was not wounded and made references to Thursday's drone attack in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Pakistan's Taliban had released an audio tape of Mehsud on Friday but the tape did not mention a date.

Earlier Saturday, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan said he did not know whether Mehsud had survived the attack, but that he had heard "every conceivable version" of what happened.

Holbrooke also said that if Mehsud is still alive he is, in his words, "one of the worst people on earth," calling him absolutely vicious.

Pakistani intelligence sources had said Mehsud was wounded in the missile strike that killed at least 12 suspected militants.

On Friday, officials say two drone strikes killed at least 11 people in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.  The missiles targeted suspected militant compounds.

The United States has increased its attacks using pilotless drones since a suicide bomber killed seven U.S. intelligence agents in eastern Afghanistan last month.  

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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