(ISLAMABAD) — Without DNA evidence, there is little chance of proving that Pakistan’s Taliban leader was killed in a recent drone strike, according to the Pakistani interior minister.
Reports first surfaced Sunday that Hakimullah Mehsud died during a U.S. Predator attack last Thursday in the North Waziristan tribal region.
Mehsud has headed the Taliban in Pakistan since August 2009, taking over for slain leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Despite news of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death, interior minister Rehman Malik said the government could not confirm that the Taliban leader actually died unless he had DNA evidence or at least confirmation from Malik’s own independent sources.
A Taliban spokesman has also denied the report that Mehsud was killed.
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Barbie Latza Nadeau, Livia Borghese and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Euan McKirdy, Bryony Jones and Barry Neild, CNN