MIRAMSHAH: An influential pro-government tribal elder and his two guards were killed in an attack near Miramshah in North Waziristan Agency on Thursday.

Malik Qader Khan was known as chief of Waziristan and he had served as a peace committee’s member. He was one of the signatories to a peace agreement between the government and local Taliban in 2007.

Officials said Qader Khan was travelling from Miramshah to Bannu when assailants in a non-customs paid car opened fire on his vehicle at the Chashma Bridge on the main Miramshah-Bannu road.

Qader Khan was going to his village when he came under attack and died along with his two gunmen on the spot.

Officials said one of the attackers was also killed in retaliatory fire by Qader Khan’s gunmen. However, it could not be verified from independent sources.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sources said Qader Khan used to avoid travel because of security concerns.

They said the slain tribal elder was not happy with the formation of the government’s negotiations committee and had recently demanded involvement of tribal elders in the process.

His assassination came at a time when the negotiation committees of the government and the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan are preparing for the second round of the direct talks.

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