News24

Anti-Taliban leader shot dead in Pakistan

2012-06-27 14:38

Peshawar - The bullet-riddled bodies of an anti-Taliban militia commander and three of his associates were dumped in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, police said.

The bodies of Fahimud Din, aged 50, chief of a 1 500-strong vigilante force in Bazidkhel on the outskirts of Peshawar, and three of his associates were found in a Toyota Land Cruiser on the city's ring road.

"We found the bodies around 07:00. Four of them had been shot at close range," senior police official Asif Iqbal said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. According to police, relatives had not heard from Din since Tuesday when he went to Islamabad for work.

Police said Din survived at least three suicide bombings and several roadside bomb attacks blamed on the Taliban and warlord Mangal Bagh who leads the Lashkar-e-Islam militia in the adjoining Khyber tribal district.

On 12 June, two of his bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack that targeted his vehicle. Din survived because he had not been in the car.

Pakistan is on the frontline of the US-led war on al-Qaeda. Since July 2007, a Taliban-led insurgency has been fighting against the US-allied government.

In the last five years, attacks blamed on Islamist bombers have killed more than 5 000 people according to an AFP tally.

Pakistan says 35 000 of its people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.