After more than two weeks of insisting that their leader Beithullah Mehsud was alive, the Pakistani Taliban’s second line commanders have now finally confirmed that he was killed in a U.S. missile strike earlier this month.
Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman, who were all this while reported to be vying for the leadership of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan after the August 5 killing of Beithullah Mehsud, separately called the BBC and Associated Press and said their leader was dead.
Waliur Rehman confirmed that Hakeemullah Mehsud, a militant commander in his 20s, was the chosen successor to Beithullah.
Contrary to earlier reports that he had fallen out with Hakeemullah in the succession stakes, Waliur Rehman offered that he had no differences with the new leader of the TTP.
Hakeemullah is said to have a following in the Kurram, Orakzai and Khyber agencies.