Hakimullah Mehsud surfaces, ends speculations of his death

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Sararogha (Pakistan), Oct. 5 (ANI): Newly appointed Pak-Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud met with reporters in Pakistan's tribal areas, ending speculations on his death.

Mehsud, surrounded by other Taliban commanders in a show of unity, spoke to a small group of reporters on Sunday on condition the interview only be published on Monday, The Dawn reports.

In his first media appearance after being chosen the new leader of Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan, Mehsul vowed to retaliate against the US and Pakistan for drone attacks along the Afghan border.

Mehsud added that the Taliban would avenge the killing of Baitullah Mehsud.

Last month, Pakistani security officials had claimed that Mehsud has already been killed and it was his look-alike brother who gave an interview to the BCC.

Earlier, Pakistan Interior Advisor Rehman Malik had also rejected reports about Mehsud being appointed as the new TTP chief.

"If Hakimullah Mehsud has been elected new Taliban chief than he should come to fore. It is all speculation till he himself comes forward and says that he has become the chief of TTP," Malik had said.

Malik said the there were reports of serious infighting among the leaders of the TTP to gain hold of the organization following Baitullah Mehsud's death in the US drone attack in August.

"Our information is that they have not been able to appoint someone despite the lapse of so many days since his (Baitullah Mehsud's) death because now they are fighting among themselves," he had said. (ANI)

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