The Pakistan Taliban announced on Saturday that it has chosen a religious leader, Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud, as its new chief and Mufti Mazhim, aka Mufti Hafzullah, as his deputy, AP reported.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Mohammad Khurasani also acknowledged for the first time that the group’s previous chief, Mullah Fazlullah, was killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province last week. Fazlullah had reportedly ordered the failed assassination of activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012.
Fazlullah became the leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in November 2013 following the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban was also behind the attack on a Peshawar school in December 2014 – the deadliest militant attack in Pakistan’s history. Seven Taliban militants had scaled a wall, entered the auditorium of the school where students had gathered for an event and opened fire. At least 122 students and 22 teachers and staff members were killed.
In March, Fazlullah’s son Abdullah was among 20 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants killed in a US drone strike in Kunar.