A Taliban commander says the Pakistani Taliban has appointed a
successor to Baitullah Mehsud, the group's leader believed killed in a
U.S. missile strike earlier this month.
Maulvi Faqir Mohammad told media a 42-member Taliban shura (or council) appointed Hakimullah Mehsud to replace Baitullah Mehsud.
Hakimullah Mehsud is a close aide of Baitullah Mehsud, who was
reportedly killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan's South Waziristan
Despite the appointment of a new leader, the Pakistani Taliban held to
its claim that Baitullah Mehsud is still alive, saying he is seriously
In other news, security officials and tribal elders say at least 21
people were killed in a suspected U.S. missile attack Friday on a
militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan.
Also in northwestern Pakistan, officials say a suicide bomber blew
himself up inside a house after being chased there by police.
Friday's missile attack destroyed a home in a village (Dande Darpa Khel) near
Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan. The area is a stronghold
of senior Afghan Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani. Some Pakistani
officials say the missile strike was targeting his son, Siraj.
The U.S. has fired more than 40 missiles using Central Intelligence
Agency-operated drones to target al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds in
Pakistan's government has asked for U.S. drone technology. But U.S.
military officials say the United States remains opposed to joint
operations with Pakistani intelligence services because of concerns the
information would be leaked to militants.