Pakistan Taliban Name Interim Leader as Debate Over Successor Drags On

Nomination comes two days after a drone strike killed commander Hakimullah Mehsud

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A spokesman for the Pakistan Taliban has announced that Asmatullah Shaheen, one of Pakistan’s most wanted men, will assume interim leadership of the organization, two days after a drone strike killed its former commander, Hakimullah Mehsud.

The unruly alliance of militias has struggled to pick a long-term successor to Mehsud. According to the Daily Telegraph, leading contenders include Khan Said, an illiterate commander of suicide bombers, and Maulana Fazlullah, who commands the militia responsible for the shooting of Malala Yousafzai.

The shura, or ruling council, has promised a vote within days, but analysts have questioned its ability to convene while under threat of drone strikes.

[Daily Telegraph]