Meet the Pakistani Taliban's New No. 2

Kahn Said takes over for slain Waliur Rehman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2013 2:30 PM CDT
Meet the Pakistani Taliban's New No. 2
Soldiers of the Pakistan army stand guard after a bombing in Shabqadar near Peshawar, Pakistan in this May 13, 2011 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

The Pakistani Taliban has already filled the vacuum left by yesterday's drone assassination of Waliur Rehman. After burying Rehman in what Reuters describes as a "low-key ceremony" the Taliban committee named a new second-in-command: Kahn Said. (Yes, feel free to make your Star Trek jokes in the comments.) "There was absolute consensus over Kahn Said," one Taliban source says. The New York Times, however, says it was just one "subgroup" that promoted Said and sees this as evidence of a possible rift in the Taliban group.

As for Said, the 38-year-old had long served as Rehman's deputy, and he helped plan some major operations, like a massive jailbreak last year, and an attack on a Karachi naval base the year before that. The Taliban was initially slow to confirm Rehman's death, but they have now done so—and are vowing revenge, reports CNN. "We hold the government of Pakistan responsible for this killing," a group spokesman said. "We will teach a lesson to Pakistan and the United States for depriving us of our beloved leader." (More Waliur Rehman stories.)

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