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Key TTP commander among five killed in South Waziristan blast

Updated August 22, 2013
— File photo
— File photo

PESHAWAR: A Pakistani Taliban commander believed to be harbouring foreign militants was killed along with four others in a roadside bomb explosion in South Waziristan tribal agency, officials said Thursday.

Ghulam Jan, believed to be a key commander of the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed along with four accomplices when the improvised explosive device targeted his vehicle on Wednesday evening in Birmal tehsil, located about 27 kilometres from Wana, the main town in South Waziristan.

Assistant Political Agent Shahid Ali Khan confirmed that five people were killed in the blast which completely destroyed the vehicle.

Local officials confirmed the incident took place around 7 pm on Wednesday, but access to the area is limited and reports from the semi-autonomous tribal region, infested with Taliban and al Qaeda militants, are difficult to verify.

Jan, who had a reputation for supporting and harbouring Uzebk, Tajik and Central Asian militants, was earlier believed to have been ousted from the area by the pro-government Mullah Nazir group.

“He was anti-government and well known for his support to foreigners,” a official said on condition of anonymity.

The Mullah Nazir group had flushed out Uzbek fighters and anti-state militants from Wazir areas in 2008 and 2009.

Other people who had died in Wednesday’s blast were identified as Jan’s uncle, Juma Khan, and his close aides Mir Gul, Asmatullah and Kharote.

No militant group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.