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Senior Taliban Commander Killed

by AFP
Shah Marai—AFP

Shah Marai—AFP

Ashiqullah Mehsud was killed in a clash between rival factions of the militants.

A senior Taliban commander known for training suicide bombers was killed Thursday in a clash between rival factions, officials and militant sources said.

Ashiqullah Mehsud of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was killed during a clash with a recent breakaway faction near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan.

“Ashiqullah has embraced martyrdom after an enemy attack this morning,” according to a militant source. Local intelligence officials confirmed the death.

Mehsud served on the shura (ruling council) of the TTP, the militant said, and was the successor to Qari Hussain—an infamous commander known as the “father of suicide bombers” for indoctrinating and training young recruits.

More than 60 people have been killed in the violence which erupted in April between supporters of commander Khalid Mehsud, who was till recently known as Khan Said Sajna, and the followers of the slain former Taliban chief in troubled North Waziristan. The group led by Mehsud split from the TTP last week and denounced it for targeting civilians as well as carrying out “criminal activity.”

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