Four more killed in Pakistani militant infighting

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 15:59

Islamabad: A fourth day of infighting between two feuding factions of the Pakistani Taliban killed four people in the restive northwest on Wednesday, intelligence and militant sources said.

A total of 38 people have now been killed in clashes which erupted on Sunday between supporters of Khan Said Sajna and followers of the late Hakimullah Mehsud group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The latest killings came when a vehicle of the Sajna group came under attack in the Shawal area of South Waziristan tribal region which borders Afghanistan.

Militant sources suggested that differences emerged after Sajna, a senior commander, was rejected for the TTP leadership, after then-leader Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike last November.

The TTP, which was formed in 2007 and is waging a bloody insurgency against the government, is a coalition of different groups and has long been riven by infighting.

Sajna was seen as a strong candidate to become TTP chief following Mehsud`s death but the movement`s ruling council at the last minute elected Mullah Fazlullah, who hails from Swat and is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan. 

The Pakistani government began negotiations through intermediaries with the TTP in February to try to end its insurgency.

The militant group has demanded the release of what they call "non-combatant" prisoners and the establishment of a "peace zone" from which security forces would be barred.

A bomb attack at a market in Islamabad on Wednesday killed 22 people, though the TTP denied responsibility.


First Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 15:59

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