Accessibility links

Breaking News

Leading Pakistani Taliban Faction Breaks Away

 Khalid Mehsud, also known as Said Sajna.
Khalid Mehsud, also known as Said Sajna.
A leading faction of the Pakistani Taliban says it has split from the umbrella militant group.

The faction is led by Khalid Mehsud, also known as Said Sajna.

A spokesman, Azam Tariq, said on May 28 that the faction -- based in the South Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border -- is no longer part of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In a statement, he said the faction had differences with the TTP leadership, which he alleged had become involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and other such crimes.

The faction also reportedly had disagreements with the TTP over the issue of peace talks with the government.

Mehsud was a contender for the TTP leadership after its former chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in November. The leadership post eventually went to Maulana Fazlullah.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP