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Pakistani Taliban strike militia

October 3, 2013

A suicide bomb attack targeting a militant commander in northwest Pakistan has killed at least 15 people. The commander was reportedly targeted for working against the Pakistani Taliban.

18.02.2013 DW Online Karte Pakistan Peshawar eng

The attack began Thursday with a suicide bomber detonating a car bomb outside the compound of militant commander Nabi Hanfi, followed by militants launching an assault with guns.

The attack killed at least 15 people.

Hanfi, who reportedly survived the attack, was the leader of an anti-Taliban militia he formed after breaking away from the Taliban in 2009. He had been battling the Pakistani Taliban in the Orakzai tribal area and had been supported by the Pakistani government, local sources reported.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed the attack.

"Hanafi was fighting against the TTP and anyone who will fight with us will face the same fate," Shahid told the AFP news agency.

Orakzai, which lies about 100 km (62 miles) from Peshawar, is one of Pakistan's several semi-autonomous tribal regions along the Afghan border where Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants have their strongholds.

Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in the past few months, undermining newly-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's efforts to mitigate the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.

hc/mz (AFP, AP)