A Taliban commander with a Rs20 million bounty on his head was killed on Monday in a shootout with soldiers in North Waziristan, military sources said.
“Two soldiers were also wounded in the shootout. The gunbattle took place in Miramshah on Sunday,” the military said in a statement.
The statement described Ameerullah Mehsud as one of the top commanders of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the group blamed for killing more than 3,400 people in the past three years.
He also went by the alias of Qari Gud, which means “the man who limps”, and Mazloomyar, which means “friend of the oppressed” in Pashtu. Mehsud was reportedly shot dead at a checkpoint in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan, where Pakistani commanders have been under increasing US pressure to launch a decisive campaign against militant strongholds.
According to the statement, Mehsud was the commander for Makeen and Razmak, a Taliban stronghold in South Waziristan and was listed as 11 of the 19 most-wanted TTP commanders. Last November, the government had posted combined rewards for them worth $5 million for information leading to their capture, dead or alive. It was not immediately clear whether anyone would be rewarded in connection with Mehsud’s death.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2010.