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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Man who accused Mehsud of being a spy killed in Pakistan
TEHRAN (Press TV) -- A tribal leader who earlier defected from Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and revealed the militant group's ties with the United States and Israel has been shot dead.
The assassination of Qari Zainuddin comes a week after he revealed that Baitullah Mehsud was pursuing a U.S.-Israeli agenda in Pakistan.
Zainuddin, a 26-year-old rising tribesman, who had called Mehsud “an American agent”, was killed by a gunman in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday.
Zainuddin, who earlier broke away from Mehsud, was also increasingly critical of Mehsud’s use of suicide bombings targeting civilians and soldiers.
In an interview with local media, Zainuddin said that Mehsud had established strong links with Israeli intelligence services, which were destabilizing Pakistan. “These people (Mehsud and his men) are working against Islam.”
Mehsud, a warlord in his late 30s, has claimed responsibility for a string of devastating attacks on both civilians and security forces throughout the region.
Insurgents have stepped up their attacks on civilian and religious centers in major cities across Pakistan, which has fueled anti-Taliban sentiments among the Pakistani people.
Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, violence has spilled over into Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and given rise to the Pakistani Taliban.
Photo: Pakistani tribal leader Qari Zainuddin (centre) is surrounded by armed guards during a press conference in Dera Ismail Khan on June 21. (AFP/File/Sabir Khan)