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Possible Baitullah Mehsud Successors

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A look at three possible successors to Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who is believed to have died in a U.S. missile strike Wednesday.

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HAKIMULLAH MEHSUD, 28, aka Zulfiqar Mehsud.

Commander of three tribal regions, Hakimullah has a reputation as the most ruthless of Mehsud's deputies. Although the youngest contender, he is considered the likeliest to take over. He is the military chief of Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Police officials say he has been behind threats to foreign embassies in Islamabad. There is a 10 million rupee ($120,000) bounty on his head.

His men are blamed for attacking U.S. and NATO supply convoys. He met journalists for the first time in November 2008, when he offered to take them on a ride in a U.S. Humvee taken from a supply truck heading to Afghanistan.

Hakimullah is believed to lead 8,000 men, and claimed responsibility for the June 9 bombing of the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar.

He threatened suicide bombings in Pakistani cities in retaliation for an army offensive in the Swat Valley.

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WALIUR REHMAN, 35

A cousin of Mehsud and among his closest advisers and deputies. Mehsud reportedly said during a tribal council meeting, or shura, that Rehman should be his successor if something happened to him.

However, Rehman is reportedly not on good terms with Qeri Hussein, a powerful commander in charge of the Taliban's suicide bombers who has a strong say in leadership affairs.

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AZMAT ULLAH, 40

Not much is known about Azmat Ullah, who is a commander in the Barwand area.

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