Pakistan: A former commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) identified as Saeed alias Iqbal has been reportedly targeted in a bomb blast near MiranShah in North Waziristan. The bomb blast targeted the former TTP commander when he was traveling in his car.
According to ITCT sources, Saeed had surrendered to the Pakistani government some time ago. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The former TTP commander was reportedly injured in the attack and has been moved to the nearest hospital in Bannu.
This is the second attack on a former TTP commander in Pakistan this month. Earlier in October, another former commander of TTP, namely Arif Afridi, was killed in a gun attack in Darra Adam Khel. The attack was claimed by TTP, declaring its surrendered commanders and fighters legitimate targets for attacks. Shortly afterwards, TTP re-released its fatwa declaring its surrendered fighters ‘apostates’.
While talking to ITCT Newsdesk, Head of South Asia desk at ITCT Faran Jeffery said, “After taking the command of TTP, Noor Wali Mehsud is trying to establish his authority and consolidate power. Previously we have seen top TTP members like Ehsanullah Ehsan surrendering to the Pakistani state. We have also seen disillusionment among TTP ranks under the leadership of its former emir Mullah Fazlullah. In fact, it was under the leadership of Mullah Fazlullah that we saw two major groups forming out of TTP: Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Hizbul Ahrar. Fazlullah took command of TTP in 2013. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar was formed in 2014, and then was further split as Hizbul Ahrar, which was formed in 2017. Now that TTP leadership has come back to the House of Mehsud, some kind of TTP action against its surrendered fighters, especially those who have aided Pakistani government since their surrender, was much expected.”
This story will be updated in case of new information.