Pakistan Taliban ‘commanders’ killed in northwest: Pakistani army

Military says two senior members of different factions of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group killed in North Waziristan district.

A Pakistani soldier stands guard at a market in North Waziristan [File: Farooq Naeem/AFP]

Pakistan’s military says it has killed five members of the Pakistan Taliban group in two separate security operations in the northwestern North Waziristan district, including two senior members of different factions of the armed group.

In a statement released late on Sunday, the military said it had conducted security operations in the Mir Ali and Kaisoor areas of the district, which was once the headquarters of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, or Pakistan Taliban).

“During IBOs [five] terrorists including two terrorist commanders Syed Raheem [also known as] Abid of TTP (AKK Group) and Saifullah Noor of TTP (Gohar Group) were killed,” said the statement.

According to the statement, Raheem had been directly involved in 17 attacks against Pakistani security forces since 2007 and had been involved in a recent spate of targeted killings in the district.

Since last year, more than 50 people have been killed in targeted gun and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in North Waziristan, according to media reports.

“[Raheem] was tasked by hostile agencies for target killing, recruiting new terrorists and organizing them,” said the Pakistani military statement.

“He was involved in killing of four [tribal elders] in Mir Ali area, three engineers working in a company in North Waziristan and many IEDs attacks.”

Raheem was also said to have been running two suicide bomber training centres in Mir Ali and the Wana region of neighbouring South Waziristan district.

Noor was said to be “directly involved in different IED attacks on Security Forces in Khaisoor”.

Pakistan’s military launched a major set of military operations in North Waziristan and its adjoining districts in 2014, successfully displacing the TTP from its erstwhile stronghold into neighbouring Afghanistan.

Violence and large-scale attacks have dropped significantly since 2017, but sporadic attacks on civilians and security forces by the TTP do still take place across the country.

Last year saw a particular spike in the number of targeted attacks on civilians and security forces in North Waziristan, prompting renewed security operations.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.

Source: Al Jazeera