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Central & South Asia

Pakistan Taliban infighting claims lives

At least 12 killed in clashes between rival groups in South Waziristan as chiefs mull new ceasefire with government.

Last updated: 11 Apr 2014 10:59
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Leaders of the Pakistani Taliban are expected to announce another ceasefire deal with the government [AFP]

Fighting between rival factions of the Pakistani Taliban has left at least 12 people dead in South Waziristan.

The latest clashes on Friday between supporters of commander Khan Said and followers of the late Hakimullah Mehsud group in the tribal region came a day after the expiry of a 40-day ceasefire with the government.

The leaders of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group are meeting in North Waziristan on Friday to decide whether to extend its ceasefire agreement and continue peace talks with Islamabad.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said: "There has also been serious fighting between factions of those opposed to the peace talks and those who want to continue the peace talks."

He also said that it the Pakistani Taliban are expected to announce another ceasefire following their meeting.

A total of 56 people have been killed in clashes that erupted on Sunday between the two factions that are part of TTP, which has been engaged in a seven-year conflict with the state.

Ten fighters were killed in clashes that began when members of the Sajna group came under rocket attack in their car in the town of Shawal, a local intelligence official told the AFP news agency.

The Pakistani government began negotiations through intermediaries with the TTP in February to try to end its insurgency.

The group has demanded the release of what they call  "non-combatant" prisoners and the establishment of a "peace zone" from which security forces would be barred.

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