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(READ): Hakimullah Mehsud: Ruthless New Pakistan Taliban Leader Named…

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Source: The Huffington Post

MAKEEN, Pakistan — Pakistani Taliban fighters are committed to helping the fight in Afghanistan and consider Barack Obama their “No 1 enemy,” a top commander said amid uncertainty Sunday about whether a new leader has been appointed to head the movement.

Waliur Rehman made the remarks in an interview with the Associated Press at a time of intense speculation over the next leader of the al-Qaida-allied group. A CIA missile strike on Aug. 5 is believed to have killed former chief Baitullah Meshsud. Rehman, a cousin of Baitullah, is seen as a strong candidate for the post.

Speaking Saturday – before aides to another Taliban commander said a second contender, Hakimullah Meshud, had been appointed the next chief – Rehman said Baitullah had given him full control over the network and that a new leader “would be chosen within five days.”

He did not refer to the claim that Hakimullah had become the leader – an omission that will add to doubts about whether that appointment had been agreed by all the top Taliban members. It will also likely be taken as a further sign the movement and its up to 25,000 fighters remain split over the succession.

Rehman met the AP in a forest near Makeen village in the heart of the semiautonomous lands close to the Afghan border where al-Qaida and the Taliban hold sway. Looking healthy and dressed in clean, ironed clothes, he was accompanied by five armed guards. Read More

Written by dnnnewshound

August 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Posted in WAR

Tagged with , ,

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