MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Taliban movement in Pakistan named a new leader on Sunday, to replace Baitullah Mehsud, who is believed to have been killed in a CIA missile strike earlier this month.
The Islamist group contacted western journalists in Pakistan, and told them that Hakimullah Mehsud, a close associate of the former leader, had been unanimously appointed.
The group insists that Baitullah Mehsud is still alive, despite Pakistani and U.S. intelligence reports.
Hakimullah Mehsud is a military chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He is known to be in his late 20s, and has been linked with several suicide bombings in Pakistan. He commands at least 2,000 fighters.
The group is expected to send more insurgents across the border into Afghanistan, to fight U.S. and NATO forces.