— File Photo

WANA: A remotely detonated bomb exploded near a vegetable market in South Waziristan tribal region's Wana area on Friday killing militant commander Maulvi Abbas and three others.

A nine-year-old child was also injured in the blast, whereas nearby buildings were partially damaged.

According to security sources, Abbas appeared to be the target of the attack.

Emergency and security personnel reached the site of attack.

Security forces cordoned off the area as investigations into the incident went underway.

The area is cut off to journalists and aid workers and it was not possible to confirm the death toll independently.

Abbas was previously ousted from Wana along with Uzbek and pro-Uzbek militants in 2007 after developing differences with Mullah Nazir.

Upon his ouster, Abbas had affiliated himself with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), only to return to Wana after reconciling with Nazir.

Abbas was operating independently after returning to Wana.

South Waziristan is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.

The tribal region was once the main stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. The military launched a large offensive against militants there in 2009, but insurgents still operate in the area and periodically stage attacks.

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