Suicide blast injure Pakistan Taliban leader in Wana
By Sajad - Thu Nov 29 2012, 9:04 pm
A suicide bomber wounded a senior Taliban commander and killed six people on Thursday in a market in a northwestern Pakistani region on the Afghan border, a spokesman for the commander and police said.
It was not immediately clear how badly Mullah Nazir, considered the main Taliban warlord in South Waziristan, had been hurt in the blast, which occurred in the region’s main town, Wana.
But a local Taliban militant who goes by the code name Tiger, also speaking by telephone, suggested the injury may have been more serious. After initial treatment at a hospital, Taliban fighters moved Mr. Nazir to an undisclosed location over fears that he could be targeted by an American drone strike, he said.
Mullah Nazir is an elder of the Wazir tribe and a close associate of al-Qaeda. His followers fight US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, across the border from his stronghold in South Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s north-western tribal belt.
However, he is believed to have a made a non-aggression pact with the Pakistani government and has chased other militant groups from his territory, making a string of enemies.
Tribal elders say that Nazir was more interested in attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan than Pakistan’s security forces, a divisive issue within the Pakistani Taliban leadership.
They said the government had even asked Nazir to help expel fighters who were bent on attacking Pakistani security forces.