Commander Linked to Malala Attack in Running to Be Next Pakistani Taliban Leader: Source - World News
A ruthless commander whose fighters were blamed for shooting schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is among the front-runners to replace the Pakistani Taliban leader who was killed in a U.S. drone strike, a senior militant told NBC News.
A Taliban source said that Maulana Fazlullah, who commands the Taliban in the treacherous Swat region of northern Pakistan, is among two leading candidates to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed Friday. The other is tribal cleric Hafiz Saeed Khan.
Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai, whom the Taliban shot and threatened to kill for her advocacy for education for girls, did not win the Nobel Peace Prize despite being viewed by some as the favorite. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.
Fazlullah, 39, whose forces ordered the closure of all girls’ schools in the Swat Valley, earned himself the nickname “Radio Mullah” after establishing a radio station to transmit his fiery messages.
His division has since been forced back across the border into Afghanistan, but he remains a formidable opponent of Pakistani government forces.