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:

"India's Daughter" Controversy

Reuters Showcase

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Dhoni, bowlers shine as India book quarter-final place.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

Rupee to depreciate marginally, yuan to rise a little.  Full Article 

Rape Accused Killed

Rape Accused Killed

Mob in Nagaland breaks into jail, lynches rape suspect.  Full Article 

Govt vs RBI

Govt vs RBI

Government faces potential clashes with RBI over who decides rates.  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Ford Injured

Ford Injured

Actor Harrison Ford injured in small-plane crash in Los Angeles.  Full Article 

China Attack

China Attack

Knife attack wounds 9 at Chinese train station, suspect shot dead.  Full Article 

Holi Hai!

Holi Hai!

In Pictures: Festival of Colours.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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