ANOINTED

Taliban Taps New Chief

Pakistan's Taliban has chosen a new leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, a close associate of ex-chief Baitullah Mehsud, who is believed to be dead from a U.S. predator drone attack. The Taliban continues to deny his death, but tapped Hakimullah anyway, saying Biatullah wanted to see a new leader before he died of ill health. The new leader is in his late 20s, and controls about 2,000 fighters in a region of Pakistan. Hakimullah Mehsud is said to be as ruthless as his predecessor. There were rumors of shoot-outs and infighting in the past weeks as the organization scrambled to anoint a new leader after Baitullah’s death.