Extremist commander Maulvi Abbas among five have been killed while several others injured as blast rips through near a vegetable market in South Waziristan tribal region’s Wana area, say media reports.

 

Officials said the blast of unknown nature took place Rustam Bazaar at South Waziristan Agency headquarters, Wana. Five people were killed and many others were injured in the explosion, reports said.

 

Security forces arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area for search operation as nature of the blast was not known. Rustam Bazaar is a busy vegetable market located near Wana town of South Waziristan.

 

According to the media reports, Abbas appeared to be the target of the attack. The area is cut off to journalists and aid workers and it was not possible to confirm the death toll independently.

 

The militant commander was previously ousted from Wana along with Uzbek and pro-Uzbek militants in 2007 after developing differences with Mullah Nazir. Upon his ouster, Abbas had affiliated himself with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), only to return to Wana after reconciling with Nazir.

 

South Waziristan is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown insurgents and are alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.

 

The tribal region was once the main stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban. The military launched a large offensive against militants there in 2009, but insurgents still operate in the area and periodically stage attacks.

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