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Key Faction Splits from Pakistani Taliban

  • VOA News

FILE - Pakistani Taliban patrol in their stronghold of Shawal in Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan.

FILE - Pakistani Taliban patrol in their stronghold of Shawal in Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan.

A powerful faction of the Pakistani Taliban has announced it is splitting from the main body of the al-Qaida-linked militant group.

A spokesman the Tehreek-e-Taliban faction, based in the South Waziristan region, said ideological differences with the group's central leadership have caused a rift.

Azam Tariq also cited disagreements over the peace talks with the Pakistani government as he announced the group's decision, on Wednesday, from an undisclosed location.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban is a loose alliance of Islamist militants. The group has been fighting against the government since 2007.

The Pakistan Taliban wants to bring its own harsh form of Islamic law to the country. It has also demanded an end to military operations in its tribal strongholds, an end to drone strikes and the release of its jailed fighters.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged to negotiate peace with the militants when he took office last year, but talks with the group have stalled.

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