Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

FIFA Corruption Scandal: Top officials indicted on US corruption charges (part 1)

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'The Measure of a Man', 'My Golden Days' and vintage Spielberg

Read more

FOCUS

Thailand cracks down on human traffickers amid worsening migrant crisis

Read more

FACE-OFF

Radical left surges in Spain: A domino effect in France?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Could Johnny Depp be jailed over dog row in Oz?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Nabi Saleh, the West Bank town holding protests since 2009

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi's Nkurunziza appeals for 'national solidarity' to fund elections

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Oil companies agree to end crippling strike in Nigeria

Read more

DEBATE

Islamic State group advances: Baghdad and Washington trade blame over losses (part 2)

Read more

Asia-pacific

Khan Said 'named as new Pakistani Taliban leader'

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-07

Senior members of the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday picked the group's No. 2 commander, Khan Said, to be their new leader following the death of their former chief (pictured) in a US drone attack the day before.

Militants from the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday voted to install the group's No. 2 commander as their new leader after the former chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a US drone strike the day before, security sources and militant commanders said.

The new head, Khan Said - who has been the leader in the South Waziristan tribal area - is believed to have masterminded an attack on a Pakistani jail which saw nearly 400 prisoners freed as well as a raid on a Pakistani airbase, both in 2012.

The Taliban’s leadership committee had gathered for the vote at an undisclosed location in the North Waziristan tribal area, the same region where a US drone strike killed the group’s leader on Friday.

Drones were still flying over North Waziristan Saturday. Witnesses in the towns of Mir Ali and Miran Shah reported that Mehsud’s supporters were firing at them in anger.

Mehsud was killed Friday in a village outside Miran Shah when multiple missiles slammed into a compound just after a vehicle carrying the militant commander arrived.

Four other suspected militants were killed including Mehsud’s cousin, uncle and one of his guards. They identity of the fourth victim is not yet known.

Mehsud was on the US most-wanted terrorist lists with a $5 million bounty. He’s believed to have been behind a deadly suicide attack at a CIA base in Afghanistan, a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square and brazen assaults in Pakistan that killed thousands of civilians and members of security forces.

His death will likely complicate efforts by the Pakistani government to negotiate a peace deal with the militants. After the group’s number two was killed in a drone strike in May, the Tehreek-e-Taliban as it is formally called, fiercely rejected any idea of peace talks and accused the government of cooperating with the U.S. in the drone strikes.

In recent weeks the TTP appeared to soften its position but had still made multiple demands for preconditions to any negotiating, including the end of drone strikes in the tribal areas.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-11-02

  • PAKISTAN

    Taliban's Mehsud: Promoted and killed by US drones

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Pakistan Taliban leader killed in US drone strike

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    US troops capture Pakistani Taliban leader

    Read more

COMMENT(S)