Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pakistani Taliban overrun rival faction's headquarters, dozens killed


Residents pick through rubble following a military air strike against suspected militant positions in the Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency, in late December 2012. Militants associated with Ansar-ul-Islam and Tehrik-e-Taliban-e Pakistan (TTP) have been battling each other over the strategic highlands of eastern Khyber for several months. Source: Pakistan Dunya News.

Two nights ago, hundreds of Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (Tehrik-e-Taliban-e Pakistan or TTP) militants overran the headquarters of a rival faction, Ansar-ul-Islam, deep inside the Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency, following months of fierce clashes between the two outlawed Islamist factions. Fighting between the two factions had intensified this weekend, and on Sunday, TTP fighters stormed Malikdinkhel and seized the Bagh headquarters and its surrounding bazaar, according to the News International.

Emir of Ansar-ul-Islam Maulana Qazi Mehboob-ul Haq and General Secretary of Ansar-al Islam Qari Izzatullah Ham Khial reportedly fled the Bagh area for Zakhakhel shortly before the TTP overran Bagh. However, the homes of Mehboob and Izzatullah located in Malikdinkhel have since been blown up by TTP fighters, and their headquarters in Bagh is now under TTP control. The nearby areas of Shalobar and portions of Zakhakhel have also fallen to the TTP Lashkar-e-Islam fighters, however, Ansar-ul-Islam General Secretary Qari Izzatullah Ham Khial vowed his group would defeat the rival factions from positions in Zakhakhel and Arakzai.

Shortly after the TTP takeover of Bagh on Monday, two Ansar-ul-Islam suicide bombers attacked
TTP militants as they ransacked the Ansar-ul-Islam headquarters and killed 46 militants, including an Uzbek Uzbek commander named Abu Islam, according to a regional press report.

Infighting in Khyber has forced 644 families belonging to the Qambarkhel tribe to flee for their lives this week, many of them taking up shelter in the Sanghara area of Arakzai Agency, adding to the already 24,000 displaced people fleeing the recent fighting in Khyber, according to the News International.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Post a Comment

Search this blog