SOUTH WAZIRISTAN : A senior Taliban commander Ghulam Jan Wazir was killed on Wednesday along with his four associates in a roadside bomb explosion in South Waziristan Agency. An improvised explosive device, planted by unknown people, hit the vehicle of Ghulam Jan in Sholam area, about 27 kilometres from Wana, the main town of the Agency. The TTP and his all four companions were killed in the blast. Political administration officials confirmed the incident and said that five people have been killed in the explosion which completely destroyed the vehicle. Local officials said the incident took place at around 7pm on Wednesday.

The others who were killed were identified as Jan's uncle Juma Khan and his close aides Mir Gul, Asmatullah and Kharote. No militant group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Jan Wazir had been supporting and harbouring Uzebk, Tajik and Central Asian militants, and he was previously believed to have been ousted from the area by the pro-government Mullah Nazir group. The Mullah Nazir group had flushed out Uzbek fighters and anti-state militants from Wazir areas in 2008 and 2009.

AFP adds: Ghulam Jan Wazir died on the spot when his vehicle hit the bomb.

A senior security official told AFP that Wazir had for several years sheltered Arab and Central Asian fighters in South Waziristan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wazir's death. He is the third pro Al-Qaeda militant commander killed in similar circumstances in South Waziristan in the last two years