ISLAMABAD: Former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud's brother and uncle are among seven key members of the militant group to have surrendered near the Afghan border region in Kurram Agency, security officials in the said on Sunday.
“Ejaz Mehsud and Khair Muhammad Mehsud, uncle of Hakimullah, handed themselves to authorities late Saturday,” an official told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.
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Both surrendered at Lower Kurram’s Shaheedanu Dand, one of the three crossing points between Kurram and Afghanistan.
However, the official refused to comment on whether the two men crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan or had been hiding on the Pakistani side of the border.
Sources further said that at least four TTP commanders also surrendered to authorities and there is a possibility that more Taliban members could surrender in a couple of days. “All the surrendered men have been shifted to security forces’ fort in Tull area,” a source said.
Some sources say Hakeemullah’s relatives may have entered Pakistan as the authorities opened the crossing with Afghanistan on Saturday after days of clashed on the Torkham border.
The group has not yet commented on the development.
Hakimullah Mehsud: The TTP commander who dodged drones
Taliban faced a serious rift after the death of Hakimullah and some Taliban sources had earlier said nearly 200 had been killed in clashes between the supporters of rival commanders Sheharyar Mehsud and Khan Said alias Sajna.
Hakimullah, who was in his thirties, had been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan Agency in November 2013. He was buried at an unknown location a day later.
He had succeeded his mentor, Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in August 2009. Hakimullah Mehsud, the young, ferocious and vengeful chief of TTP had survived at least two US drone strikes in the past. However, on November 1, 2013, his luck ran out.
Last month, six TTP suspects, including a deputy commander, were held by intelligence agencies from Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area.
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Intelligence personnel raided Bismillah Terrace in Sohrab Goth in connection with a drone attack near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, which left Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor dead on May 21.