PESHAWAR (AFP/Reuters) - A top Taliban commander on Monday challenged government to prove warlord Baitullah Mehsud was dead, insisting Mehsud was alive and again denying reports of a deadly shooting over succession. The comments by Hakimullah Mehsud compounded confusion that has surrounded Mehsuds reported death in a US missile attack last week. Both I and our amir (leader) Baitullah Mehsud are alive, Hakimullah Mehsud told Reuters and AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. On Saturday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Pakistan was investigating reports of a deadly shooting between loyalists of Hakimullah and a rival contender to replace Baitullah, in which one of the commanders was killed. Rehman Malik is propagating false information in the media - using the media as toy. I am alive and prove Im alive despite government claims that there was a shootout for Baitullahs succession, Hakimullah told AFP. Although Pakistan said it believed Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone attack in South Waziristan along with his wife on Wednesday, confusion has reigned and the government has stopping short of confirming his death. Pakistani intelligence officials say he is dead, but members of the Taliban have told media outlets that he is still alive, albeit providing no evidence. Hakimullah said only that Baitullah was a bit sick. Amir sahib (Baitullah) is alive. He is healthy and he will come before the media soon. There is no succession. There is no shura (meeting), he reiterated. He (the interior minister) challenged us to prove amir sahib is alive. I have proven the governments claim of my death wrong and I challenge the government to prove the death of our amir. Baitullah Mehsud is alive, safe and sound, he said. Waliur Rehman, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location to a Reuters reporter on Sunday, also denied that any tribal council meeting, or shura, had taken place to decide on a successor to Baitullah. Asked whether he could provide evidence to prove Baitullah was alive, Hakimulllah said: Let the interior minister prove he is dead. Independent verification of the claims and counter-claims is extremely difficult as the Mehsud lands where the US missile struck the house of Baitullahs father-in-law are remote and inaccessible.