Pak Taliban commander denies reports of his death

Some reports said he was killed on October 2 while others said he died five days later.

Islamabad: Key Pakistani Taliban commander Qari Hussain Mehsud, best known as the master trainer of suicide bombers, has denied reports about his death in a US drone attack in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

The media had reported yesterday that Qari Hussain had been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan Agency.

Some reports said he was killed on October 2 while others said he died five days later.

A man claiming to be Qari Hussain spoke to a TV news channel and said reports about his death were baseless.

He claimed he would soon release a video to substantiate his claim.

There was no word from government functionaries on the reports of Qari Hussain`s death. There have been reports of his death on several occasions in the past but the reports proved to be incorrect.

Hussain was reported dead after his home was destroyed in January 2008 but he appeared before the Pakistani media four months later to deny the reports.

He was later reported killed in an air strike at Makeen in South Waziristan on June 23, 2009, but he telephoned reporters a few days later to prove he was alive.

A few days after the air strike, the Pakistan government announced a reward of Rs 10 million for the killing or capture of Qari Hussain.

In November 2009, the reward was increased to Rs 50 million.

PTI