Pakistan Taliban Infighting Claims Lives
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Fighting between rival factions of the Pakistani Taliban 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 met 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 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 AFP.
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.