.: Asia

Date: 29 Nov 2012

Taliban commander Mullah Nazir injured, six killed in suicide blast

WANA, Nov 29 (INP): Taliban commander Mullah Nazir was wounded Thursday in a suicide attack in South Waziristan’s largest town, Wana, that killed six of his aides, security officials said.

The attacker was riding a motorcycle when he collided with the vehicle Mullah Nazir was traveling in. Several nearby shops were also damaged in the attack. Another account said that Nazir was injured as a suicide bomber carrying explosives in a hand-cart struck the vehicle carrying members his group in Wana’s Rustam Bazaar.

Commander of his own faction of the Taliban in South Waziristan, Mullah Nazir controls operations in Wana. He was also part of the Aman Committee and assisted the committee in its proceedings against the Uzbek militants.

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

Moreover, Assistant Political Agent Shahid Ali Khan said that six people were killed and nine others were injured in the blast that struck the vehicle.

Three vehicles and eight shops were also destroyed in the attack that appeared to have been an attempt on Nazir’s life.

The bomber was between 10 to 15 years of age, local administration officials said.

While at odds with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Nazir is accused of harbouring militants who stage attacks across the border on coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Nazir is also said to have been instrumental in defeating Uzbek fighters in the Ahmedzai Wazir area of South Waziristan.

Nazir's faction is one of four major Taliban groups that joined the al Qaeda-brokered Shura-e-Murakeba alliance late last year. The others are Hafiz Gul Bahadar's group, the Haqqani Network and the Pakistani Taliban led by Hakimullah Mehsud.

Nazir's group has previously clashed with other Taliban fighters during a struggle for leadership.

There are many divisions among the Pakistan Taliban leadership that have led to clashes. But despite the rivalries, analysts said the Taliban are unlikely to splinter as that would make them an easier target for the powerful Pakistani army.

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