The Taliban in Pakistan have chosen a new leader - and immediately threatened a wave of suicide attacks in revenge for the killing of his predecessor. He died in an American drone attack - a raid that has also infuriated the Pakistani government. They claim it sabotaged peace talks with the Taliban.
ITV News reporter Ben Chapman reports:
The Pakistani government says the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud is a US bid to derail planned peace talks. Some lawmakers have demanded the blocking of US supply lines into Afghanistan in retaliation.
"The murder of Hakimullah is the murder of all efforts at peace," said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar. "Americans said they support our efforts at peace. Is this support?"
Despite Mehsud's reputation as an uncompromising commander, Pakistan's new government had vowed to try to stop the violence through peace talks and it reacted angrily to his death.
Shah Farman, a spokesman for the government of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said provincial lawmakers would pass a resolution on Monday to cut NATO supply lines into landlocked Afghanistan. A major one passes through the nearby Khyber Pass.
The Pakistani government has summoned the US ambassador to protest over the death of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike, it announced today.
A statement from the Foreign Office said Friday's strike was "counter-productive to Pakistan's efforts to bring peace and stability to Pakistan and the region."
Mehsud was head of the Pakistani Taliban, an insurgent group that has beheaded Pakistani soldiers and killed thousands of civilians in suicide bombings. The group also directed a failed attempt to bomb Times Square in New York.
The Pakistan Taliban have vowed revenge on America after their leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike yesterday.
Spokesman Azam Tariq said:
Every drop of Hakimullah's blood will turn into a suicide bomber.
America and their friends shouldn't be happy because we will take revenge for our martyr's blood.
Pakistani Taliban fighters secretly buried their leader earlier today after he was killed by a US drone aircraft, Reuters reports.
"America and their friends shouldn't be happy because we will take revenge for our martyr's blood."
The Pakistan Taliban has promoted its number two commander Khan Said, also known as Sajn, to replace leader Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a US drone strike yesterday, militant commanders and security sources said.
Said is believed to have masterminded an attack on a jail in northwest Pakistan that freed nearly 400 prisoners in 2012 and an attack on a Pakistani air force base in the same year.
The funeral of a Taliban leader killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan yesterday is expected to take place today.
Hakimullah Mehsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban was one of the country's most wanted men with a $5 million US bounty on his head.
Read: Profile: Hakimullah Mehsud
The Pakistani Taliban has confirmed the death of its leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike today, Reuters has reported.
A senior Taliban source said the leader's funeral would be held in North Waziristan tomorrow.
Pakistani intelligence officials have said that Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was today killed in a drone strike, although it is not the first time his death has been reported:
- Hakimullah Mehsud took over as head of the Pakistani Taliban in August 2009 after the death of former leader Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike.
- He is the commander of Taliban insurgents in their war against the Pakistani state, in which thousands have been killed.
- Has been falsely reported to have been killed several times in the past.
- Has a $5m US reward on his head.
- Believed to have been born in 1979.
- Hails from the town of Hangu in northern Pakistan.
Several intelligence, army and militant sources across Pakistan today confirmed Mehsud was killed in the strike in the lawless North Waziristan region.