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Pakistan probes reports of Taliban chief's death

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani army said Thursday it was investigating reports that Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a U.S. missile strike.

The United States government is also looking into reports that Mehsud was killed in the strike, according to a U.S. counterterrorism official.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the reports are still unconfirmed.

Mehsud is responsible for dozens of suicide attacks, beheadings and target killings. He is allied with al-Qaida and has been suspected in the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan views him as its top internal threat, while the U.S. saw him as a danger to the war effort in Afghanistan.

The missile strike hit the home of Mehsud's father-in-law in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region early Wednesday. Intelligence officials say Mehsud's second wife was killed.

AP reporter Pamela Hess in Washington contributed to this report.