ISLAMABAD: The killing of Adnan Khan Afridi, who was the supreme commander of the outlawed Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Khyber Agency, could be the result of rivalry among militant groups, sources said on Sunday.
Afridi was shot dead by armed men on Tarnol and Fateh Jhang Road and his body was recovered on Friday. The body was shifted to the DHQ hospital Rawalpindi, but was identified by his relatives on Saturday.
Afridi had close ties with TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud and was known as his deputy in Khyber Agency but he was also active in Orakzai Agency and semi-tribal Dara Adam Khel region near Peshawar.
He was arrested by intelligence agencies in February 2004 for his suspected involvement in an attempt to kill the then president Gen Pervez Musharraf. Initially, he was arrested from a Mir Khankhel village near Jamrud in Khyber Agency for sheltering an al Qaeda militant from Morocco, Abdul Rahman. It is not known as to how he was released by the agencies.
Afridi was also responsible for masterminding the killing of another top militant leader, Haji Namdar Afridi, in August 2008. He was involved in different terrorist activities, including attacks on the Political Agent of Khyber Agency and other government officials. “His killing could be an act of revenge by Namdar’s men,” the source said.
Namdar, one of the three top militant commanders in Khyber Agency, was shot dead by a young militant in the headquarters of his outfit Amr bil Maruf wa Nahi Anil Munkar (Promotion of Virtues and Prevention Vice) in Bara. The attacker was said to be a teenager, who was caught by Namdar’s men on the spot and later executed.
The main reason for their rivalry was Namdar’s refusal to allow the TTP access to the strategically important Khyber region.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2010.
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