WANA, July 7: Local Taliban and tribal elders decided at a meeting on Monday to expel Uzbek militants and their local collaborators from the areas of Ahmadzai Wazir tribe in South Waziristan.

The meeting in Wana was attended by about 500 elders and Maliks and representatives of Taliban Shoora from North Waziristan.

Witnesses said that supporters of pro-government militant commander Maulvi Mohammad Nazir detained tribal elder Malik Baa Khan after he opposed the participation of some Taliban in the jirga.

They said that some people shouted at Malik Baa Khan when he said that the people of South Waziristan did not need the help of Taliban from North Waziristan in confronting foreign militants.

Malik Baa was taken to a private Taliban jail and was released after he paid Rs500,000.

Sources said that the group of Maulvi Nazir and elders had agreed to continue their action against Uzbek militants. Maulvi Nazir and his supporters, it may be mentioned, had launched a campaign last year, killing over 60 foreigners.

The jirga severely criticised recent attacks on Maulvi Nazir and assassination of pro-government elders.

It alleged that foreign elements, particularly the Uzbeks, were involved in the attacks.

It endorsed the merger of the Taliban groups based in North and South Waziristan and backed the new outfit headed by Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

It warned that anyone opposing the merger would be fined one million rupees and his house would be demolished.

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