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Taliban kill another pro-government militia leader

world Updated: Jul 29, 2009 17:23 IST

PTI
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To instill fear among defectors from its ranks before its decisive battle against the Pakistan Army in Waziristan, Taliban militants stormed into the premises of a pro-government militia leader and shot him dead.

A big band of 50 heavily armed militiamen raided the residence of Khalilur Rehman in Shangla district near Buner and killed him, local official were quoted by TV channels as saying.

Rehman is the second big pro-government lashkar leader to have been killed by the Taliban over the past five weeks.

Earlier, another top militant commander Qari Zainuddin, a rival of Tehrik-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, was shot dead by the Taliban.

Zainuddin was fatally shot reportedly by one of his own guards at his house in Madina Colony in Dera Ismail Khan. The assailant who fled was later identified as a Taliban militant.

The killings of pro-government Pashtun tribesmen comes as the Pakistan army has massed armour, artillery and troops to launch a major offensive on Waziristan, the stronghold of Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

Rehman, 60 had formed a tribal lashkar to back Pakistan army push into Waziristan and other areas of the restive northwest.

In another incident Taliban fighters attacked a paramilitary force checkpoint near Buner injuring three personnel. Four Taliban fighters were killed in the attack.