'Most wanted' TTP commander killed in Miramshah ambush

Asmatullah Shaheen was ambushed in Dargah Mandi village near Miramshah.

Afp February 24, 2014
Asmatullah Shaheen. PHOTO: AFP

MIRAMSHAH: Unidentified gunmen on Monday killed a senior commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who had a government bounty on his head, officials and family said.

Asmatullah Shaheen, a former interim chief of the banned group was ambushed in Dargah Mandi village near Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan.

“Unknown attackers opened fire on Asmatullah Shaheen’s car. He and three associates died on the spot,” a security official in Miramshah told AFP.

A close relative of Shaheen told AFP that another two people travelling in the car were critically wounded.

The attackers fled in a separate vehicle, the security official said.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killing but a local security official blamed a rival militant group for the ambush.

Shaheen, who was a member of the TTP’s top council and was the leader of the Bhittani tribe, had a $160,000 bounty on his head.

Earlier this month, the government entered into talks with the TTP aimed at ending their seven-year insurgency.

But the banned group continued carrying out attacks on a near-daily basis, and the dialogue was suspended last week after the insurgents claimed they had executed 23 kidnapped soldiers.

Since then, the Pakistan Air Force has been carrying out air strikes in the tribal regions, killing dozens of militants.


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