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Mehsud Reportedly Alive

Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Pakistani intelligence now believes that Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud survived a late January drone strike and is now alive.  The Taliban had steadfastly denied his death since the strike in January, and while such is common practice (it took the Taliban three weeks to acknowledge that Baitullah Mehsud had been killed), the absence of a martyrdom video or tribute lent support to their position.  He is believed to have suffered only minor wounds, and was reportedly the only Taliban member to have survived the January strike.

The C.I.A. has increased the scope and frequency of its drone program in the wake of the December bombing of the C.I.A. base in Khost, which killed 8 C.I.A. officers.

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