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Baitullah Mehsud, Taliban Leader is Dead

The CIA reports that Pakistan's Taliban Chief, Baitulla Mehsud had been killed by a CIA missile strike. This was confirmed to the Associated Press by Taliban commander Kafayat Ullah. It was seen as a sever blow to the extremist group which threatens the stability of the nuclear-armed nation and perhaps a possible boost as well t U.S.-Pakistan cooperation.

Pakistani officials vowed to dismantle the rest of the network run by Baitullah Mehsud regardless of who takes over, a move seen as essential to crippling the violent Islamists behind dozens of suicide attacks and beheadings in the country.

Already, the Taliban were holding a "shura" council in the lawless, rugged South Waziristan tribal region to choose Mehsud's successor, intelligence officials and militants told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information. It was unclear when they might reach a decision.

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