DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — The ruthless commander behind the attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai as well as a series of bombings and beheadings was chosen Thursday as the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, nearly a week after a U.S. drone strike killed the previous chief.

The militant group ruled out peace talks with the government, accusing Pakistan of working with the United States in the Nov. 1 drone strike.

Islamabad denied the allegation and accused Washington of sabotaging its attempt to strike a deal with the Taliban to end years of violence.

Mullah Fazlullah was unanimously appointed the new leader by the Taliban’s leadership council, or shura, after several days of deliberation, said the council’s head, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhitani.

The previous chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by the drone in the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border. He was known for a bloody campaign that killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and security personnel, a deadly attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan and was believed to be behind the failed bombing in New York’s Times Square in 2010. The United States had put a $5 million bounty on his head.

Mehsud’s killing outraged Pakistani officials. The government said the drone strike came a day before it planned to send a delegation of clerics to invite the Pakistani Taliban to hold peace talks, although many analysts doubted a deal was likely.