BBC releases footage of Baitullah Mehsud’s corpse
The death of Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike sparked a variety of rumours – he’s dead, he’s alive, his wife’s dead, the TTP shoora is fighting, Hakimullah and Wali-ur-Rehman are dead. But once it was confirmed – both by the Taliban and US and Pakistani intelligence – it was the end of it. The fact that Mehsud was targeted accurately has been cited as a reason to continue drone strikes in the region.
But as in life, Mehsud’s as much of a headline-grabber in death. The BBC has a video that shows Mehsud’s corpse, and Pakistani news channels have been showing a still of the video as well as getting opinions from analysts and reporters about the significance, if any, of the video’s release.
The video shows Baitullah Mehsud lying on a flat surface in a room, amid virtual silence.
His entire body is covered in a white funeral shroud, so it is difficult to tell how his body was injured in the attack.
There are no marks on his face, except for a few scratches near his nose.
A man is shown in the video crouching near the body clearly stricken with grief.
The video, which lasts nearly two minutes, has little audio. Two sentences are spoken.
A voice, apparently that of the video maker, says: “If there was a leader, there would have been some preparations.”
Later, the same voice says: “May Allah destroy these cruel people who do not use rifles and Allah knows what else, to kill us.”
The Zeitgeist Politics on Mehsud’s death: