Chaos in the Waziristan Taleban
The NYTimes reports that according to Pakistani sources Hakimullah Mehsud has been killed by another potential Taleban leader in the fight to determine who will replace Beithullah Mehsud.
(The NYTimes claims this might be good news for Al Qaeda as it might allow them influence over the choice of the next leader, but I might argue that in an organization as "tribal" as the Taleban, having one group's leader kill another is bound to lead to infighting and, potentially, to a whole lot of intelligence for the US.)
Details of the fighting were spotty on Saturday. The Pakistani interior minister, Rehman Malik, confirmed reports of a shootout at a meeting in South Waziristan and said that one of the commanders had been killed but did not name who it was.
“The infighting was between Waliur Rehman and Hakimullah Mehsud,” Mr. Malik told Reuters. “We have information that one of them has been killed. Who was killed we will be able to say later after confirming.”
Reports received by government officials on Saturday indicated that Mr. Mehsud and Mr. Rehman argued over succession at a tribal meeting at Sara Rogha in South Waziristan. A shootout ensued, killing Mr. Mehsud and wounding Mr. Rehman.
So, the jirga broke down into gunfire....