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U.S. and Pakistani officials have said they were almost certain that the chief, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in the Aug. 5 strike, but at least three Taliban operatives, including the detainee, Maulvi Umar, had called media organizations following the attack to say he was still alive.
Umar's comments -- relayed by an intelligence official who took part in the questioning -- would be first admission by the Taliban that Mehsud was dead. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.