According to Pakistan's terrorist group, the Taliban, Khan Syed, a/k/a Khalid Sajna, on Saturday was appointed the new chief of the Islamist organization following the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud by a U.S. drone attack on Friday evening, according to the Pakistan news media.
The "executive" council of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) appointed Sajna as the new chief of the terrorist group during a meeting that was held at a secret location in North Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, the local media said.
Sajna, who was the close aid of former chief Hakeemullah, got 43 out of 60 votes of the consultative body, according to the Taliban's announcement.
Prior to his becoming the TTP chief, Sajna was the commander of the Taliban chapter of South Waziristan after a U. S. drone strike killed an important leader, Wali-ur-Rehman, in May 2013.
The 36-year-old Sajna took part in some of the biggest attacks in Pakistan, such as the attack on a military installation in Karachi and a jailbreak in 2012 that resulted in the Taliban freeing more than 400 inmates in Pakistan's Bannu district.
According a U.S. counterterrorism expert, Sajna has no formal education or religious background, but he is experienced guerrilla fighter and paramilitary commander.
The Sajna appointment comes only hours after a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle killed more than 20 suspected Taliban members, including the late Hakeemullah Mehsud, in the country's northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan that borders Afghanistan.
The U.S. drone attack took place hours after the top leadership of Tehrik-i- Taliban Pakistan adjourned their strategy meeting for their long-awaited peace talks with Pakistan's government.
November 3, 2013