Skip to comments.Pakistani Taliban enter fray around strategic NATO routes (tribal infighting)
Posted on 01/31/2013 11:27:34 AM PST by Pan_Yan
Clashes between rival militant groups in the tribal region next to the Afghanistan border has reportedly claimed more than 70 lives since fighting broke out last week. The area lies near the Khyber Pass, a main route for NATO supply trucks to Afghanistan, making it pivotal to the US war effort there and to Pakistan's revenues.
Fighting flared after a third militant group the Pakistani Taliban moved into an area already being fought over by two other outfits and the Pakistani military. On the run from its traditional strongholds in another part of the tribal belt, the Pakistani Taliban recently pushed into key parts of the Khyber Agency in a bid to control lucrative trading routes and establish a firmer base of operations.
The tribal areas of North and South Waziristan, where the Pakistani Taliban were once thought to have the strongest hold, have become hostile in recent months for them because they are creating trouble for the Afghan Taliban based there. The two groups are allies, but separate. The Afghan Taliban are focused on fighting NATO and the Afghan government, and allegedly enjoy support from elements in the Pakistani security establishment. The Pakistani Taliban, meanwhile, are bent on attacking the Pakistani state, prompting military pursuit.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...