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Pakistani Taliban choosing replacement after drone strike kills their leader

Saturday - 11/2/2013, 6:50am  ET

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) -- Some Pakistani politicians are saying the U.S. drone strike that killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban is an attempt to sabotage government efforts at peace talks with the militant group.

The strike could worsen an already strained relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban's top council is meeting to choose a replacement for Hakimullah Mehsud, who gained a reputation as a merciless planner of suicide attacks in Pakistan.

Among Washington's most wanted terrorists, he's believed to have been behind a deadly suicide attack at a CIA base in Afghanistan and a failed car bombing in New York's Times Square as well the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis.

A senior Pakistani security official said a delegation which planned to travel to North Waziristan today to convey a message from the government about starting peace talks won't be going.

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%@AP Links

137-c-08-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"in North Waziristan"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports that sources say the leader of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in a drone assault. (1 Nov 2013)

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139-c-13-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"thousands of lives"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports that as well as being a key target for international forces, the Pakistani Taliban leader had a ruthless reputation locally. (1 Nov 2013)

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138-c-08-(Rebecca Santana, AP correspondent)-"leader Hakimullah Mehsud"-AP correspondent Rebecca Santana reports that a team on the ground is sure that one of the dead is the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. (1 Nov 2013)

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