PESHAWAR - As many as five militants, including a key commander, were killed and three others sustained injuries when a bomb planted on a roadside exploded at Shaktoi locality of South Waziristan Agency Wednesday.
Reports pouring here said a remote-controlled bomb planted on a roadside targeted a vehicle carrying a Taliban commander and his other companions exploded in the Shaktoi area of Ladha tehsil of the agency.
As a resultant, five militants, including a key commander identified as Amir Hamza, were killed while three others sustained injuries. Sources said this blast was continuation of the ongoing Taliban infighting between two rival factions – Sajna and Shehryar Mehsud groups.
The identity of the four other militants was not confirmed. All the injured were stated to be in critical condition.
So far scores of militants have been killed in the clashes between Sajna and Shehryar Mehsud groups. Earlier, TTP had claimed to have resolved the dispute. Official sources said the planted bomb had been triggered by a remote-controlled device. No reason for the fresh infighting between Sajna and Shehryar Mehsud groups was ascertained.
It is pertinent to mention that the blast occurred just three days after a roadside bomb exploded in the North Waziristan Agency, killing three soldiers, including an officer. It has been learnt that in the ongoing clashes between the warring TTP factions, some 40 militants, including top commanders, have been killed in the last two months.
AFP adds: At least five militants were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb, apparently planted by a rival group in the troubled northwest, the Taliban and officials said Wednesday.
The bomb struck the vehicle of Amir Hamza, a local commander of Sajna group, in the remote Shaktoi area of South Waziristan tribal district late on Tuesday, killing him along with his four associates.
“A local commander of Sajna group and his four associates died on the spot,” the local intelligence official told AFP.
A militant source confirmed the incident.
The local intelligence official and the militant source told AFP that the incident, suspected to be fresh rebel infighting, was the first violation of the ceasefire between the two militant groups.
The violence erupted earlier this month between the Sajna and Mehsud factions, both part of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group, 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 Mehsud last November, militants said. Sajna had been seen as a strong candidate to become the TTP chief. But the TTP’s ruling council at the last minute elected Mullah Fazlullah who hails from Swat and is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.