Pakistani Taliban splits, top commander shot dead

Pakistani Taliban splits, top commander shot dead

Fazal Saeed Haqqani, a Taliban commander in Pakistan's volatile tribal belt has broken away from the militant outfit to form his own group as he is opposed to suicide attacks on mosques and civilians.

Haqqani, operating in the Kurram tribal region, separated from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and formed the Tehrik-e-Taliban Islami, Geo News channel reported.
Haqqani told the media that he had taken this step to protest suicide attacks on mosques and civilians.

Incidentally, hours after the reports of the split emerged, unidentified gunmen in a car with tinted windows opened fire at commander Shakirullah Shakir, who helped train and deploy over 1,000 suicide bombers in the restive North Waziristan tribal region.
Shakir was riding a motorcycle near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency, when the attack happened, officials told the media.

Shakir was a senior commander and spokesman for the Fidayeen-e-Islam faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

He once claimed to a newspaper that his group had trained over 1,000 suicide bombers at camps in North Waziristan.

No group claimed responsibility for the killing.

North Waziristan and South Waziristan regions are sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda elements.

Meanwhile, Geo News quoted its sources as saying that Haqqani earlier led TTP fighters in Kurram Agency and had set up training centres in several areas.

In the past, Haqqani's associates kidnapped people and kept them in their training centres.

They would then kill their captives or release them after being paid ransom, the channel reported.

Observers said the move by Haqqani could be part of efforts by the government and security forces to engineer a split in the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is led by Hakimullah Mehsud.

There was no word from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on the development.

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