LADHA/MIRAMSHAH: Clashes between two groups of militants in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan over the past two days have left at least 10 people dead, including a Taliban leader.

(AFP quoted an Islamabad-based security official as saying 15 people were killed).

Sources said that militants loyal to Khan Said Sajna attacked men belonging to the Shehryar group in Shaga area of Shaktoi when they were travelling in vehicles from Zangara in South Waziristan to Miramshah in North Waziristan on Sunday.

Five people of the Shehryar group were killed and seven captured. The detainees were freed on Monday on the condition that they would not come to the area again.

But, the freed men along with supporters returned to Shaktoi later in the day, prompting a fresh attack by the Sajna group in which five more people of Shehryar group died and as many were detained.

Those killed on Monday included Kashid Khan Mehsud, a leader of the Sheryar group who is said to be an aide to and driver of Hakeemullah Mehsud.

After Hakeemullah’s death in a US drone strike in November last year, Sheryar had declared himself as chief of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Mehsud-dominated area of South Waziristan challenging the status of Khan Said as chief of Mehsud militants.

Differences between the two factions have widened and for weeks they have been killing each other’s men in attacks in South and North Waziristan tribal regions. The sources said that the situation in the area was tense and there was a fear of further clashes.

Meanwhile, two militants were killed and two others wounded when their vehicle was ambushed in Malak Ajdar area on Razmak road in Miramshah tehsil.

The motive for the attack could not be ascertained.

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