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Pakistani Taliban Announces Spokesman's Fired

Former Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid speaks during a press conference at an undisclosed location in Pakistan in February 2014.

The Pakistani Taliban have announced the dismissal of the militant group's spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.

The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan made the announcement on its website on October 21.

The statement comes days after an audio message purported to have been recorded by the spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, was posted online saying he and a group of other commanders have defected to the Islamic State extremist group.

The authenticity of that recording could not independently verified.

The Taliban leadership said the spokesman no longer worked for them, and reiterated their support for Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taliban leader.

It also said "Shahidullah Shahid" was a nom de guerre, and that the spokesman's real name was Sheikh Maqbool.

Based on reporting by Reuters,, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal