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TTP Commander Said To Be Among Militants Killed In Clashes In Northwestern Pakistan


Pakistani security forces claim they killed 10 suspected militants in one of the clashes near the border with Afghanistan. (file photo)

A commander of the Pakistani Taliban has been killed in northwestern Pakistan in a clash with the military that also resulted in the death of an officer, officials told RFE/RL.

Intelligence officials said on September 29 that the clash took place in the Tank district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province where the security forces had launched a search operation for a "known militant commander" of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group.

The security officials identified the commander as Khwazha alias Sherullah.

A Pakistani Army captain was also killed and two soldiers were wounded in the firefight, according to the officials.

Separately, the Pakistani security forces claimed they had killed 10 suspected militants, including four commanders, in a shoot-out in a former Taliban stronghold in the remote Sarwakai area of the South Waziristan tribal district on the border with Afghanistan on September 28.

A statement from the military's media wing said the suspected militants were killed during "an intense exchange of fire."

A large cache of weapons and ammunition was also seized, it said.

The TTP, however, contradicted the military's account, claiming Pakistani security forces carried out a drone strike that killed a woman and two children.

The conflicting claims could not be independently confirmed due to remoteness of the area.

The TTP has increased attacks on Pakistani security forces over the past several months.

Pakistani security forces carried out a massive military operation in the region in June 2014 claiming that the TTP had been eradicated.

However, locals and independent observers believe the TTP attacks show that the group is once again regrouping in its stronghold.

The TTP are a separate militant group from the Afghan Taliban, although Pakistan's militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan.

With reporting by AP
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