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Pakistan offers Taliban bounties

Official notice of Pakistan's Taliban bounties (2 November 2009)
Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud (top right) heads the wanted list

Pakistan's government has offered rewards totalling $5m (£3m) for information leading to the capture of Taliban leaders and commanders.

A sum of 50m rupees ($600,000) has been promised for the capture - dead or alive - of the group's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, and two top aides.

The Taliban have been blamed for a recent series of attacks in Pakistan.

The rewards come as the army carries out an operation against militants in South Waziristan province.

Pakistan's government announced the offers in a series of national advertisements.

PAKISTAN'S MOST WANTED
Hakimullah Mehsud (file photo)
1.Hakimullah Mehsud: Ruthless leader of Pakistan's Taliban - Tehrik-e-Taliban
2. Wali-ur Rahman: Senior Taliban militant and commander in South Waziristan
3. Qari Hussain Mehsud: Hakimullah Mehsud's cousin and trainer of suicide bombers
4. Azam Tariq (Azam Khan Mehsud): Chief spokesman for Pakistan's Taliban
5. Maulvi Azmatullah Mehsud:Commander of the Barvand region, South Waziristan
6. Mufti Noor Wali:In charge of the Gargaray training camp, South Waziristan
7. Asmatullah Bhittani: Commander in towns of Jandola and Tank
8. Mohammad Anwer Gandapur: Commander, Dera Ismail Khan

It said the accused were "daily involved in deadly activities" which were killing Muslims and "earning a bad name for the Muslims in Pakistan and around the world".

"Such people are killers of humanity, and they deserve an exemplary punishment," it said.

"Anyone who captures these people dead or alive, or provides concrete information, the government will award them a cash reward."

Rewards of 50m rupees were also offered for the Taliban's South Waziristan leader, Wali-ur Rehman, and for Qari Hussain, the commander in Kotkai. Eleven commanders have 20m-rupee bounties on their heads and rewards of 10m rupees are on offer for five others.

The announcement comes after a series of deadly blasts in Pakistan, blamed on the Taliban. About 300 people have been killed in attacks since mid-October.

Last Wednesday, at least 118 people were killed in a huge explosion at a market in the city of Peshawar.

And within hours of the announcement of the awards on Monday, suicide bombers struck in the city of Rawalpindi. At least 30 people were killed.



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