TTP leader dead in succession fight? By Pazir Gul
Dawn, 09 Aug, 2009
MIRAMSHAH: A key Taliban commander was killed in a struggle over succession to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud at a shura meeting in South Waziristan, government and security officials said on Saturday.
Baitullah was killed, along with his wife, in a US Predator strike on Wednesday.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik confirmed reports of a shootout at the shura meeting and said that one of the commanders had been killed.
According to sources, commanders Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman, the two leading contenders for the chief slot, exchanged hot words at the shura meeting in Sara Rogha over the choosing of a successor to Baitullah.
A shootout followed, leading to the death of Hakeemullah while causing life-threatening injuries to Waliur Rehman.
However, a government official in Peshawar said that both Hakeemullah and Waliur Rehman had been killed in the clash.
The names of Hakeemullah, Waliur Rehman and 50-year-old Azmatullah Mehsud were shortlisted at a meeting of senior Taliban leaders from the Mehsud tribe, but a decision was put off following differences over who would succeed the slain leader.
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