Another two killed in separate attack at a bazaar in Miranshah.
At least 12 militants died during a shootout between rival factions in North Waziristan on Tuesday, officials said, while two died in a separate attack.
Supporters of the Tehreek-e-Taliban commander Khan Said Sajna and followers of the late TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud clashed in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, according to a security official. Four other militants were wounded during the gunfight, which was still continuing, the official said late Tuesday.
Local intelligence officials and militant sources confirmed the clash and casualties.
Earlier in the day two militants were killed in a bomb blast at a bazaar in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants. “It was a remote control bomb which targeted Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants. Two of them have been killed and two others are injured,” said an intelligence official.
A militant source confirmed the attack, and said that those killed were members of the main faction of the TTP, headed by warlord Mullah Fazlullah. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but infighting between different Taliban factions has killed dozens of people in the area recently.
Washington calls the region the most dangerous place in the world.
The latest attack comes two weeks after the Pakistani Taliban formally ended a ceasefire called to promote talks with the government aimed at ending the militants’ bloody seven-year insurgency.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government began negotiations with the TTP through intermediaries in February, with the ceasefire beginning March 1. Since the TTP rose up against the Pakistani state in 2007, more than 6,800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around Pakistan, according to an AFP tally.
Violence erupted last month between the Sajna and Mehsud factions, both part of the TTP, which has been waging a bloody seven-year insurgency against the state. The feud began after Sajna, a senior commander, was rejected for the TTP leadership following the killing of then-leader Mehsud last November, militants say.