The ongoing infighting in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan reportedly claimed 10 more lives in North Waziristan Agency on Friday. Fresh clashes erupted in Shawal tehsil of North Waziristan, which stretches across both North and South Waziristan agencies and lies on the confluence of Pak-Afghan border.
A local security official said fresh fighting erupted Friday night when Waliur Rahman Group fighters ambushed a vehicle carrying members of the Hakimullah Group close to the border of North and South Waziristan. They fired rocket-propelled grenades, triggering a fire on the vehicle, the official added. All those inside were killed, while the attackers fled the scene unchallenged.
The official confirmed that the dead militants belonged to the Hakimullah Group, which is led by Shehryar Mehsud. “After the attack, residents rushed to the spot to douse the fire and retrieve the charred bodies from the wreckage of the vehicle,” he added.
An official of the political administration said that local tribal elders were making efforts to broker a ceasefire between the warring groups in order to restore peace in the region.
Independent sources say that 43 fighters from both groups have been killed in clashes which erupted last week in South Waziristan Agency and quickly escalated to neighbouring North Waziristan and Tank district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Three killed in IED blast
In a separate incident, three militants were killed and two wounded when a vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan.
A local security official said that the dead belonged to the Haqqani Network and were en route to Datta Khel in a four-wheeler when an improvised explosive device was detonated near it. In all, five people were travelling in the vehicle – three of them died on the spot, while two sustained critical wounds. The official added that the injured were shifted to an undisclosed location for treatment.
A source identified one of the dead victims as Sher Amanullah, a commander of the Haqqani Network based in North Waziristan. Amanullah is said to be a close associate of Mullah Sangeen Zadran, who was blacklisted by the United Nations and the United States. He was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in September last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2014.
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