23 Aug 2009

Pakistan Taliban choses new leader

6:34 am on 23 August 2009

A senior Pakistani Taliban figure says the movement has named a new leader.

The organisation's deputy head, Maulvi Faqir Mohammed has told the BBC that Hakimullah Mehsud, a close associate of the former leader, was appointed unanimously at a meeting in northern Pakistan.

The former head of the organisation, Baitullah Mehsud, is reported to have been killed in an attack by an American drone aircraft earlier this month.

The Taliban continues to insist that he's still alive despite the appointment of a new leader.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who is in his late 20s, is a military chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) organisation and is said to command up 2,000 fighters.