Dera Ismail Khan, (Pakistan), Jun 23 (AP) Pakistani Taliban militants have chosen a religious scholar as their new chief in place of Mullah Fazlullah, the insurgent leader who ordered the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and was killed earlier this month in a US drone strike. Also Read - Even Pakistan, Afghanistan Handled Covid-19 Better: Rahul Gandhi Takes a Dig at Govt Over IMF Projections

Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said today that the executive council of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan appointed Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud as its new chief and Mufti Mazhim, aka Mufti Hafzullah, as his deputy. Also Read - Afghanistan: 15 Feared Dead as Two Air Force Helicopters Collide in Nawa

Khurasani conceded for the first time that Mullah Fazlullah was killed in the drone attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Also Read - NSA Ajit Doval Holds Talks With Peace Council Chief Abdullah Abdullah For 'Independent' Afghanistan

A ruthless leader, Fazlullah ordered the beheading of dozens of opponents when his band of insurgents controlled Pakistan’s picturesque Swat Valley from 2007 until a massive military operation routed them out in 2009. (AP) SMJ

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.