Top Taliban leader quits the Pakistan Taliban

The notorious militant commander, Fazal Saeed Haqqani, announced his decision to quit the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) along with hundreds of militants and form his own group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Islami.

“I repeatedly told the leadership of the TTP that they should stop suicide attacks against mosques, markets, and other civilian targets,” the commander, who is in his late 30s, told reporters.

"The TTP is doing in Pakistan what Americans are doing in Afghanistan, killing innocent civilians,” said Haqqani, adding that he would continue his fight against the Americans.

The defection of a top Taliban militant commander in the troubled Kurrum tribal belt bordering Afghanistan is the first major sign of a split within the Pakistani Taliban. The split could benefit both Pakistan and the US, say analysts.

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