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Pakistani Taliban Appoints Successor to Mehsud


Militants say Pakistan's Taliban movement has appointed a new leader.

Twenty-eight year-old Kaimullah Mehsud has served as the Taliban's military chief in three tribal regions.

Security experts say he is as ruthless as his predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud.

A militant commander (Maulvi Faqir Mohammad) told the media Saturday that a 42-member Taliban council appointed a new leader because Baitullah Mehsud is too sick to carry out his duties.

But U.S. and Pakistani officials say they believe the militant chief was killed in a U.S. drone attack in early August.

Also Saturday, Pakistani officials say a car bomb killed at least two people in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Police say the victims may have been members of the militant group Ansarul Islam. The group operates in the Khyber region and has a long-standing rivalry with Lashkar-e-Islam.

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.

The 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.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.


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