Pakistan Taliban sack spokesman in sign of growing division

By REUTERS
July 9, 2013 17:07

 
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ISLAMABAD/DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - Pakistan-based Taliban sacked their spokesman on Tuesday for making remarks that angered their Afghan allies, in a move highlighting efforts to patch up divisions within the increasingly fractured insurgency.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), formed in 2007, is an umbrella group uniting various militant factions operating in Pakistan's volatile northwestern tribal areas along the porous border with Afghanistan.

Any further divisions within the movement are likely to weaken the Afghan Taliban's fight against Western forces there, making it more difficult to recruit young fighters and disrupting safe havens in Pakistan used by Afghan militants.

The Pakistani Taliban announced the dismissal of Ehsanullah Ehsan - an outspoken and prominent figure close to TTP's top brass - in a pamphlet distributed by militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.

"He has made comments that have raised the danger of divisions between the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban," the pamphlet said.

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