The BBC is reporting, “The chief spokesman for the Taliban in Pakistan, who was arrested on Monday, has confirmed that the group’s leader is dead, Pakistani officials have said. A minister from North West Frontier Province said Maulvi Omar had stated that Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack earlier this month. The Taliban had previously denied US and Pakistani reports that he was dead.”
UPDATE (Wednesday, August 19)
Claiming Mehsud is still alive, but “seriously ill,” a deputy has claimed leadership of TTP forces. See following reports.
Faqir Mohammed takes command (The Long War Journal)
UPDATE (Sunday, August 23)
Kamran Haider with Reuters is reporting, “There’s confusion. Two days ago, Fariq Mohammad claimed he’s acting chief and now he says Hakimullah is,” one senior intelligence officer in northwest Pakistan said. “It’s a trick.” Intelligence officials insisted Hakimullah was killed or gravely wounded in a shootout with a rival days after Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. missile strike on Aug. 5