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Pakistani Taliban Selects New Leader

Chrystal Li |
November 8, 2013 | 7:29 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Former Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike. (USAF)
Former Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike. (USAF)
A week after their previous chief was killed in a U.S. drone strike, the Pakistani Taliban have chosen a new leader.

Longtime militia commander Mullah Fazlullah was selected Thursday as the new head of the terrorist organization, according to CNN. Fazlullah was formerly based in the Swat region of northwestern Pakistan, but was run out of the area in 2009. He is believed to be operating from Afghanistan, orchestrating attacks in his home country like the 2012 assassination attempt on schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai.

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NPR reports that Fazlullah, nicknamed “Radio Mullah” for his “fiery religious radio broadcasts,” is considered extreme even within the Taliban. While the new leader has yet to give any public statements, the group as a whole has already promised to avenge the death of Fazlullah’s predecessor, Hakimullah Mehsud. The incident was not the first time a Pakistani Taliban leader has been killed in a drone strike: In May, a man believed to be the group's second-in-command was killed near the Afghanistan border.

SEE ALSO: Pakistani Taliban Successor Killed In Drone Strike

Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the terrorist group, told Reuters that it would first attack Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province and the political stronghold of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He also said there would be no further peace talks with the Pakistani government.

“In the name of peace talks, they deceived us and killed our people,” Shahid said. “We are 100 percent sure that Pakistan fully supports the United States in its drone strikes.”

Read more about Fazlullah at CNN.
Reach Executive Producer Chrystal Li here.



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