ISLAMABAD: A pro-dialogue faction of the Taliban killed at least five members of an anti-dialogue group in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan, sources in the military and militants confirmed on Monday.
The attack appears to be the continuation of in-fighting in the TTP ranks that dates back to the killing of its chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, in a US drone strike last November. Inside sources revealed that there is an intense rivalry within the ranks of the TTP over the ongoing talks with the government. The group opposing talks associates itself with slain Hakimullah Mehsud, while the pro-dialogue group is represented by Khan Said Sajna, a senior Taliban commander who was considered as one of the top contenders for the post of TTP chief after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud.
“The incident occurred in Shaktoi area when a vehicle carrying Rasheed Mehsud, a commander of Hakimullah Mehsud group, along with his fighters came under a rocket attack. All five on board were killed in a manner that their bodies were beyond recognition,” a local security official said on condition that his name should not be published. He said that the dead included Rasheed Mehsud, a prominent Taliban commander who was close to Hakimullah Mehsud. Since the appointment of Mullah Fazlullah as the TTP chief, there have been a series of attacks on militant commanders in the North and South Waziristan tribal regions.
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