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Pak Taliban sacks deputy commander

Last Updated: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 22:40

Islamabad: A top Taliban militant leader has
been sacked as the deputy commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP), amid speculation of a deepening rift in the
terror group over the peace talks with the government.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammad has been removed from the post of
deputy commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and
will now be a "common fighter", a spokesman for the militant
group has said.

Mohammad, who belongs to the restive Bajaur tribal
region, was removed from his post for unspecified reasons
during a meeting of the TTP shura or council chaired by
commander Hakimullah Mehsud yesterday.

The shura "felt the organisation no more required the
role of Maulvi Faqir Mohammad as deputy chief" and he would be
considered a "common fighter and will no longer enjoy the
status of TTP deputy chief", Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah
Ehsan told journalists in Peshawar on phone from an
undisclosed location.

Some reports have suggested that Mohammad fell out of
favour with Hakimullah Mehsud for his perceived support for
peace talks with the Pakistan government.

Mohammad will "remain part of the TTP", Ehsan said when
he was asked if the commander was being expelled. No one had
been appointed in his place, Ehsan said.

Mohammad was made deputy chief of the grouping when
several militant factions came together in South Waziristan
Agency on December 14, 2007 to form the TTP.

He also served as the Taliban commander in Bajaur Agency,
one of seven semi-autonomous regions in the tribal belt along
the Afghan border.

Mohammad had to flee from Bajaur Agency when the Pakistan
Army launched an operation in the region in August 2008. He
then settled in Kunar province of Afghanistan.

Maulvi Dadullah replaced Mohammad as the Taliban
commander in Bajaur Agency.


First Published: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 22:40
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