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People, public places not to be attacked, says TTP

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Nov 8: The Pakistani Taliban announced on Friday they would orchestrate a wave of revenge attacks against the government after naming hardline commander Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader.

The appointment of Fazlullah, known for his fierce Islamist views and rejection of peace talks, by the Taliban shura, a day earlier follows the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the previous leader, in a US drone strike on Nov 1.

`We will target security forces, government installations, political leaders and police,` Asmatullah Shaheen, head of the shura, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.He said the Taliban`s main target included army and government installations in Punjab.

`We have a plan. But I want to make one thing clear. We will not target civilians, bazaars or public places. People do not need to be afraid,` Shaheen added.

`Pakistan has full information about drone attacks, said Shaheen. `Pakistan is a slave of America. It is an American colony.

Attacks by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistani have been on the rise since Mr Sharif came to power in May.

Hakeemullah Mehsud and his allies had been tentatively open to the concept of talks with the government, but Fazlullah, whose men were behind the attack on Malala Yousufzai last year, strongly opposes any negotiations.

No meaningful talks have taken place since Mr Sharif`s election and Fazlullah`s rise could signal the start of a new period of uncertainty and violence in the region.Reuters