Suicide bomber wounds key Taliban commander in Pakistan, kills 6

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:43pm IST

Related Topics

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber wounded a senior Taliban commander and killed six people on Thursday in a market in a northwestern Pakistani region on the Afghan border, a spokesman for the commander and police said.

Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah Nazir, was wounded in the attack at the main market of Wana, the capital of the South Waziristan region. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack or the extent of Nazir's wounds.

The blast destroyed Nazir's vehicle, killed six people and wounded 12, said Maulana Amir Nawaz, a spokesman for Nazir.

"Nazir is a very important commander with the support of his tribe," said Mansur Khan Mahsud, the director of research at the Islamabad-based FATA Research Centre.

Pakistan's semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are dominated by ethnic Pashtun tribes, some of which have sheltered and supported militants over decades of conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The al Qaeda-linked Nazir is an ally of the Afghan Taliban and had signed peace accord with the Pakistani government in 2007. His group has previously clashed with other Taliban fighters during a struggle for leadership.

Tribal elders say that Nazir was more interested in attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan than Pakistan's security forces, a divisive issue within the Pakistani Taliban leadership.

They said the government had even asked Nazir to help expel fighters who were bent on attacking Pakistani security forces.

Pakistani security officials have at times referred to Nazir as one of several "good Taliban".

Nazir's faction was allied with other al Qaeda-linked groups including the faction of commander Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the Haqqani Network and the Pakistani Taliban led by Hakimullah Mehsud.

The issue of whether to fight the Pakistani state is one of many disagreements among the factions that have sown distrust.

Yet despite the rivalries, analysts said the Pakistani Taliban are unlikely to splinter as that would make them an easier target for the powerful Pakistani army. (Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad, Saud Mehsud and Javed Hussein; Writing By Katharine Houreld; Editing by Randy Fabi and Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Sino-Indian Ties

Reuters Showcase

Pakistani Floods

Pakistan Floods

Pakistani Islamists use floods to turn opinion against India  Full Article 

Farming In Haryana

Farming In Haryana

Climate smart farmers get tech savvy to save India's bread basket.  Full Article 

Cleaning The Ganga

Cleaning The Ganga

Give the public a role in Clean Ganga project, says Rajendra Pachauri  Full Article 

Diesel Pricing

Diesel Pricing

India to decide on diesel deregulation after state polls - oil ministry source.  Full Article 

Scotland Referendum

Scotland Referendum

Polls show Scottish opponents of independence with slight lead ahead of vote.  Full Article 

Champions League

Champions League

Holders Real back on song with 5-1 rout of Basel.  Full Article 

Hashmi's New Film

Hashmi's New Film

For Oscar-winning Tanovic, Emraan Hashmi’s “serial kisser” tag didn’t matter.  Full Article 

Cold War

Cold War

Russia says "cynical" U.S. policy pushing world toward new cold war.  Full Article 

Hungry World

Hungry World

Hunger easing globally but 1 in 9 people undernourished - report.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage