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Pakistan declares operation against Mehsud

ISLAMABAD, June 14 (KUNA) -- After a week of bloody suicide and bomb attacks across the country, Pakistan Sunday night announced operation against Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, who also masterminded the 2007 killing of Pakistans former Prime Minister.
Awais Ghani, Governor North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), addressing a press conference here said that the government has decided to launch operation against Baitullah Mehsud and the military was already conducting it.
He held him responsible for all suicide and bomb attacks targeting innocent people and security forces. He added that Baitullah has given refugee to foreign elements as well.
Baitullah Mehsud is the head of Tehriki Taliban Pakistan (TTP)-South Waziristan chapter. Though, he claims leadership of all Pakistan Taliban but the TTP is divided into three factions with two others led by Mullah Nazir and Commander Gul Bahadur of North Waziristan tribal agencies.
While, the North Waziristan chapters of TTP are believed to be linked to Pakistans military intelligence agency ISI, Baitullah, according to the intelligence authorities, has links to anti-Pakistan foreign elements. His force largely comprises foreign militants of Central Asian origin and locals from Southern Punjab.
He claimed responsibility for Fridays suicide attacks in Lahore and Naushehra that killed over 20 including renowned anti-Taliban scholar Allama Sarfraz Naqvi and wounded over 130 others.
He also was held responsible for the 2007 killing of Benazir Bhutto, chairperson and Pakistans first female Prime Minister. (end) amn.bs KUNA 142159 Jun 09NNNN