MIRANSHAH - At least five militants died during a shootout between rival factions in a restive tribal region near the Afghan border Tuesday, militant and intelligence sources said. Supporters of Tehreek-e-Taliban commander Khan Said Sajna and followers of the late TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud clashed in the Shawal area of the troubled North Waziristan district, a security official told AFP. “Two militants from Sajna and three from Hakimullah Mehsud group have been killed in the exchange of fire between the two factions. Three other people have been injured,” an intelligence official told AFP.
Sources in the rival militant groups also confirmed the attack.
“The fight was temporarily halted after local elders asked the two groups for a ceasefire to take out the dead bodies and rescue the injured,” a militant source said.
Infighting between different Taliban factions has killed dozens of people in the area in recent weeks. The latest attack comes weeks after the Pakistani Taliban formally ended a ceasefire called to promote talks with the government. These negotiations were aimed at ending the militants’ bloody seven-year insurgency.