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Aug 24, 2009 at 12:05pm IST

Taliban executes Baitullah's relatives

Islamabad: Pakistani Taliban have executed Baitullah Mehsud's father-in-law and three of his relatives on suspicion of tipping off authorities of the slain commander's whereabouts, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday.

Some of Baitullah's relatives, who were in Taliban detention, have been killed by the militants on spying charges, Malik was quoted as saying by the Geo news.

Those who were detained by Taliban included Baitullah's father-in-law Ikramuddin, his son, one of his brothers and a nephew, he said citing unnamed sources.

TERROR RISE: Pakistani Taliban have executed Baitullah Mehsud's father-in-law and three of his relatives.

Malik said this information was received from the same sources who earlier confirmed Baitullah's death.

Pakistani and US officials have expressed certainty that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a missile strike on his father-in-law's house, where he was hiding on the night on August 5 in south Waziristan.

But Baitullah's close aides have denied his death, claiming that their leader was seriously injured and was in hiding. At the same time, the militant group has also announced appointment of Baitullah's cousin Hakimullah Mehsud as the new chief of the outfit.

Dawn News on Saturday quoted intelligence officials as saying that these close relatives of the slain leader were being questioned on suspicion that they had passed on information about Mehsud's whereabouts, which had helped in passing his coordinates to the Predator drones.

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