Pak Taliban fires its spokesman over allegiance to IS chief

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has fired its spokesman after he along with five other commanders declared allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, which has been vying for supremacy with the al Qaeda in the region.

Islamabad: Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has fired its spokesman after he along with five other commanders declared allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, which has been vying for supremacy with the al Qaeda in the region.

Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid last week said that he along with five other Taliban commanders have accepted the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, chief of the Islamic State which has seized hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria.

According to a Taliban statement, Shahidullah's actual name was Abu Omar Sheikh Maqbool and the group had allowed him to use the nom de guerre designated for its spokesperson.

The Taliban made it clear that he was no more a spokesman and Sheikh Maqbool was removed and another "brother" was named to replace him but still the decision was not made public.

The group said Sheikh Maqbool was still using it despite declaring support and allegiance to Al-Baghdadi.

The statement also said TTP chief Mulla Fazlullah owed allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

There was no immediate reaction from the former spokesman, who had fled the group's former stronghold in Miramshah, North Waziristan, following the launch of operation Zarb-i-Azb by the Pakistani military in mid-June.

There were reports that he first went Shawal valley and later fled to his native Orakzai tribal region.

Islamic State (IS) is a splinter group of the al-Qaeda which has distanced itself from the outfit, chiding it for its aggressive and brutal expansion.

Recently, reports said that militants from groups affiliated with once feared al-Qaeda network are abandoning their outfits to join the dreaded Islamist State. The influx has strengthened the IS. 

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