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Pakistani Taliban Pick New Hardline Commander

on November 8, 2013

World

Less than a week after the head of the Pakistani Taliban was killed in a U.S. drone strike, the militant group has elected Mullah Fazlullah, a commander whose men tried to assassinate education activist Malala Yousafzai last year, as its new chief.

“We chose our senior commander Mullah Fazlullah as our new ameer,” a spokesman for the group told Reuters by phone from an undisclosed location on Thursday.

Fazlullah, nicknamed “Mullah Radio” for his guerrilla Islamist radio broadcasts, is a hardline commander who has clashed with the Pakistani government. In 2009, Pakistani forces drove his fighters from the Swat Valley into Afghanistan, but Fazlullah still managed to reach back across the border. Last year, his men shot Malala Yousafzai in the head while she was on her way to school because she had advocated for girls’ education in Pakistan. Malala has spent the past year recovering in the U.K., becoming an international icon

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