Pakistani Taliban quiz Mehsud kin over ”spying”

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Saturday (Reuters) - Pakistani Taliban have detained four relatives of their leader Baitullah Mehsud, believed to have been killed this month in a U.S. missile strike, on suspicion of tipping off authorities about his whereabouts, security officials said.

Pakistani and U.S. officials are almost certain that Mehsud, head of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed when a missile fired by a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft hit his father-in-law's house in South Waziristan on the Afghan border on Aug. 5. Mehsud's aides have denied his death.

A senior intelligence official said Mehsud's father-in-law, Ikramuddin Mehsud, his son, one of his brothers and a nephew had been detained by the Taliban on suspicion that they had passed on information about Mehsud's whereabouts.

The tribal elder said the militants had shot dead Mehsud's driver, Mohammad Qasim, who was also known as Kashif, shortly after the missile strike, on suspicion of spying.

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