Pakistani Taliban to Choose New Leader

Khan Sayed and Mullah Fazlullah are the frontrunners

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The Pakistani Taliban gathered Saturday in the wake of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death from a U.S. drone strike Friday to vote for a new leader.

The two frontrunners are Khan Sayed and Mullah Fazlullah, Pakistani intelligence officials and Taliban commanders told the Associated Press. Sayed, like Mehsud, is a member of the influential Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a tribe of South Waziristan along the Afghan border, and the Wall Street Journal and other outlets reported Saturday that Sayed had won the vote, though not unanimously, according to militant commanders.

Sayed had a role in the 2009 attack on a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan, where a Jordanian triple agent killed seven agents; the 2010 attempt to set off a car bomb on Times Square in New York City; and the freeing of about 400 prisoners from a jail near North Waziristan in 2012.