Pakistan’s Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, operates a machine gun beside fellow fighters in South Waziristan. Photograph: (Ishtiaq Mahsud/AP)
The United States killed Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud Friday in a drone strike.
The Pakistani Taliban voted on Saturday to promote their number two commander, Khan Said, also known as Sajna, to replace leader Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a strike by a U.S. drone, Reuters reported militant commanders and security sources as saying.
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Said is believed to have masterminded an attack on a jail in northwest Pakistan that freed nearly 400 prisoners in 2012 and an attack on a Pakistani air force base in the same year.
Mehsud was killed by a U.S. drone in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border, on Friday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan will not allow Mehsud’s killing to derail proposed peace talks, Agence France-Presse reported the information minister as saying on Saturday.
Pervez Rasheed told reporters the government wanted to press ahead with its plan to negotiate with Mehsud’s Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
As Obama announced plans for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban announced a jihad against America and the “Crusader-Zionist” Alliance earlier this year.