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Taliban Chief's rival shot dead

PAKISTAN: Qari Zainuddin, a rival to Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mahsud, was shot dead Tuesday morning in the northwestern Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan, according to local TV reports.

The private Dawn TV quoted Zainuddin's family sources as saying that he was shot dead in a shooting incident in his office and his aide was also injured.

Zainuddin, a militant commander, has recently given statements to the media opposing Mahsud.

Salahuddin, superintendent of police in the city, confirmed that Zainuddin had been "shot dead."

Sources said that a gunman Gulbaddin Mahsud opened fire on Zainuddin after morning prayers at Dera Ismail Khan, where Zainuddin had been living since he had declared war on Baitullah Mahsud. TV channels quoted a doctor Mehmood Jan as confirming the death of Qari Zainuddin who said that he had received bullets at his head.

The attacker Gulbadin Mahsud belongs to Makeen area in South Waziristan, the stronghold of Baitullah Mahsud. Zainuddin was one of the two tribal leaders who had recently announced support for the army operation against Baitullah Mahsud, the most wanted man in Pakistan for series of suicide attacks across the country.

Islamabad, Tuesday, Xinhua

 

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