Helicopter gunships attacked militant hideouts in North Waziristan on Tuesday after a security man was injured in a roadside explosion. Local people and security officials said an improvised explosive device went off in the morning on Ghulam Khan Road near Saidgee checkpost along the Afghan border, 5km north of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan. Four to five security personnel were carrying water from a nearby spring when the blast took place. One of them was injured. Security personnel cordoned off the area and started looking for the suspects. The search continued for about 30 minutes during which suspected militant hideouts were attacked. There was no report of any casualty. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast which took place at a time when the shura of the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is meeting to decide the future of peace talks and the TTP ceasefire which expired on April 10.
A Taliban leader said it appeared that some unscrupulous elements were trying to create a misunderstanding between security forces and the Taliban to derail the peace process. Sources said the issue of infighting between two militant groups had affected the Taliban shura meeting. They said the shura did not take any decision about the ceasefire, but asked all militant groups to abide by its previous decision.
Haji Dawood, an important leader who is a member of the political shura of the TTP’s Karachi circle, told Dawn by phone that a delegation of senior Taliban commanders would soon visit Afghanistan to meet TTP chief Maulana Fazlullah to seek his directive about the infighting between Mehsud Taliban groups. He said the Shura took the decision after three days of deliberations.
He said the infighting between the groups of Sheryar Mehsud and Khan Said alias Sajna was an urgent issue for the shura which decided to refer the matter to Maulana Fazlullah. He said the delegation would put forward opinions of both groups and the decision of the TTP chief would be acceptable to them. He said most of Taliban seniors had reservations about extension of truce. They wanted some explanations from the government. -Dawn