Peshawar: The Taliban on Tuesday blamed Pakistani security agencies for the killing of their senior commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani.
A statement issued by the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan said Bhittani was part of its senior leadership and he was "killed by the Pakistan security agencies which wanted to weaken the TTP".
The group said there was "no doubt his killing has inflicted great loss to the TTP". It further said it was not oblivious to the tactics adopted by its enemies.
"The attacks on our men are carried out as an alternative to the drone strikes which is being done by the CIA and ISI," the statement said.
"We are carefully watching this dangerous programme and we will soon capture their secret agents and will make them `Nishan e Ibrat` (symbol of fear). We will foil their nefarious designs," it said.
The Taliban claimed there were thousands of fighters who were ready to take forward Bhittani`s mission.
Bhittani, who once fought in Kashmir, and three other militants were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the restive North Waziristan tribal region yesterday. He carried a bounty of Rs 1 crore on his head and was among the 20 most wanted Taliban commanders.