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TTP Appoints New Leader After Fazlullah’s Death

The insurgent group also confirmed Fazlullah’s death in a statement issued, by their spokesman, on Saturday. 

The Pakistan Taliban issued a statement on Saturday announcing it had chosen a religious scholar as their new leader following the death of Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike earlier this month. 

In a statement, Mohammad Khurasani, spokesman for Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also confirmed the death of Fazlullah, who was believed to have ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

“It is a matter of pride that all leaders of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have been martyred by infidels,” the statement read, referring to two predecessors who were also killed in drone strikes.

The statement added that the group’s Shura council had elected Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud to take over.

Khurasani said the executive council of TTP appointed Mehsud as its new chief and Mufti Mazhim, also known as Mufti Hafzullah, as his deputy.

According to Radio Free Europe, Mehsud, 40, is a religious scholar who studied at several religious seminaries in Pakistan. 

He served as a deputy to former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, blamed for the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Mehsud is also believed to have fought for the Afghan Taliban in the 1990s against the Northern Alliance and took part in attacks against Pakistani security forces.

The new leader comes from the Mehsud tribe that dominates the tribal districts of North and South Waziristan in northwest Pakistan.

The two tribal districts are a stronghold of the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network and the Pakistani Taliban, before the latter was pushed across the border into Afghanistan after a 2014 Pakistani Army offensive.

Mehsud is believed to have close links with the Haqqani network, which has carried out deadly attacks in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001.

Under Fazlullah, the Pakistani Taliban massacred 150 people -- mainly children -- at an army school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar in December 2014.

The group was also deemed responsible for the October 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who later won the Nobel Prize and became a global symbol of the fight for the education of girls.

The United States also accused the group of attempting to stage a car-bomb attack in Times Square in New York in 2010.

In March, the United States offered a $5 million reward for information on Mullah Fazlullah, saying his group has "demonstrated a close alliance with Al-Qaeda" and gave explosives training to Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber.

World

TTP Appoints New Leader After Fazlullah’s Death

The insurgent group also confirmed Fazlullah’s death in a statement issued, by their spokesman, on Saturday. 

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The Pakistan Taliban issued a statement on Saturday announcing it had chosen a religious scholar as their new leader following the death of Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike earlier this month. 

In a statement, Mohammad Khurasani, spokesman for Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also confirmed the death of Fazlullah, who was believed to have ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

“It is a matter of pride that all leaders of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have been martyred by infidels,” the statement read, referring to two predecessors who were also killed in drone strikes.

The statement added that the group’s Shura council had elected Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud to take over.

Khurasani said the executive council of TTP appointed Mehsud as its new chief and Mufti Mazhim, also known as Mufti Hafzullah, as his deputy.

According to Radio Free Europe, Mehsud, 40, is a religious scholar who studied at several religious seminaries in Pakistan. 

He served as a deputy to former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, blamed for the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Mehsud is also believed to have fought for the Afghan Taliban in the 1990s against the Northern Alliance and took part in attacks against Pakistani security forces.

The new leader comes from the Mehsud tribe that dominates the tribal districts of North and South Waziristan in northwest Pakistan.

The two tribal districts are a stronghold of the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network and the Pakistani Taliban, before the latter was pushed across the border into Afghanistan after a 2014 Pakistani Army offensive.

Mehsud is believed to have close links with the Haqqani network, which has carried out deadly attacks in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001.

Under Fazlullah, the Pakistani Taliban massacred 150 people -- mainly children -- at an army school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar in December 2014.

The group was also deemed responsible for the October 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who later won the Nobel Prize and became a global symbol of the fight for the education of girls.

The United States also accused the group of attempting to stage a car-bomb attack in Times Square in New York in 2010.

In March, the United States offered a $5 million reward for information on Mullah Fazlullah, saying his group has "demonstrated a close alliance with Al-Qaeda" and gave explosives training to Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber.

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